Charts Buzz: Baauer, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Josh Groban, Mumford & Sons

Posted February 21, 2013 by J Matthew Cobb in News

New chart changes factoring viral sensationalism puts Baauer and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the top of the Billboard Hot 100; Grammy victories create surge in record sales for Mumford & Sons (and many others)

“Harlem Shake,” a hip-hop flavored piece of indie electronica designed by Brooklyn producer Baauer, has now claimed the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to the new changes at Nielsen Soundscan. This also marks the first week the song made it on the chart, becoming the 21st song in the chart’s history 55-year history to debut at No. 1.

Due to the evolving nature of the music business and the new phenomenon surrounding viral popularity, Nielsen Soundscan decided to unveil a new methodology of determining hit records on their charts. Starting this week, the charts will now reflect activity made from YouTube streams and will  be added to a system that also includes digital download track sales along with traditional physical singles sales). It also includes terrestrial radio airplay, on-demand audio streaming, and online radio streaming, as tracked by Nielsen BDS.

The song’s popularity is spiked by a popular 30-second meme on YouTube which shows deskjob workers interacting with the song through dance. Pop-up videos made by random YouTube subscribers and even bigger powers (Pepsi) have helped enabled the song’s growing reach (see the video below by Pepsi). Reports of streams this week now total over 103 million views. The song itself also impacts the Streaming Songs chart, reaching over 309,000 streams this week.

The song hardly has a life at pop radio, but that might change since the song has now taken the number one spot, pushing Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s viral smash “Thrift Shop” to number two. Although Baauer’s tune was officially released last June, it has now started to gain impressions in certain markets. According to Billboard reports, Latin pop-formatted WVOZ San Juan (Puerto Rico) reported that the station played the song twenty five times last week, followed by dance KNHC Seattle.

“Thrift Shop,” which sat at number one for a consecutive four weeks, is still holding steady with 10.1 million streams. Other new songs making impact on the Hot 100 include Rihanna‘s “Stay,” which vaulted 57-3. & Britney Spears‘s dance track “Scream & Shout” drops 3-4, while Taylor Swift‘s “I Knew You Were Trouble” holds tightly to number 5. The Lumineers‘ “Ho Hey” and Bruno Mars‘s “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man” – a serious combo threat – rounds out the top eight. Justin Timberlake‘s “Suit & Tie” drops 8-9,although it jumps 8-5 (201,000, up 67%) on the Digital Songs survey.

Last week, popera star Josh Groban earned his third number one album on the Billboard 200 with All That Echoes. The album sold 145,000 copies. Although his last album, 2010’s Illuminations, debuted at number 4, it did mange to sell more copies verses Groban’s 2013 album (191,000).

This week, Mumford & Sons easily nabbed the top spot after their coveted win for Album of the Year at this year’s Grammy Awards. A surge in record sales from Grammy winners is usually expected, while online mega-retail shop offered blockbuster deals on albums and singles from the recent Grammy victors. Babel jumped 4-7 last week (up 50%), and has now taken the top spot on the Billboard 200, with over 185,000 copies sold this week.

Bruno Mars, who also performed a heavy set at the Grammys, also saw a major spike in sales for his most recent album, Unorthodox Jukebox. It jumps 8-3, selling 88,000 copies. A Grammy-produced compilation hold the chart’s No. 2 spot. Josh Groban’s All That Echoes drops this week 1-5.

Reports are coming in that Mumford & Sons experienced a sales hike of 242% percent after their big Grammy win (and performance of “I Will Wait”). fun.’s Some Nights, which contains the Grammy-winning “We Are Young,” jumped 14-7. The Black Keys and Gotye, also big winners at the  Grammy Awards, also experienced record sale increases. Jack White and the Alabama Shakes, who both left empty handed but did performed, also saw an increase in record sales for their respected albums. Miguel and Bonnie Raitt also saw an increase in their recent sales, thanks to their big wins. Miguel’s “Adorn” sold 44,000 copies (up 229%).

Frank Ocean, a two-time Grammy recipient and who also performed, didn’t experience that much of an increase in the realm of post-Grammy upticks. His sales only jumped 40%, moving from 46-41. Critics are starting to believe that his poor vocal performance at the Grammys may have had a strong effect on consumers. Ocean has already announced he’s working on his next album.


week of March 2, 2013
(Billboard/Nielsen SoundScan)

Billboard Hot 100

1. Harlem Shake | Baauer
2. Thrift Shop | Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Wanz)
3. Stay  | Rihanna
4. Scream & Shout | & Britney Spears
5. I Knew You Were Trouble. | Taylor Swift
6. Ho Hey | The Lumineers
7. Locked Out of Heaven | Bruno Mars
8. If I Was Your Man | Bruno Mars
9. Suit & Tie | Justin Timberlake (feat. Jay-Z )
10. Started from the Bottom | Drake

Billboard 200

1. Babel | Mumford & Sons
2. 2013 Grammy Nominees | Various Artists
3. Unorthodox Jukebox | Bruno Mars
4. Red | Taylor Swift
5. All That Echoes | Josh Groban
6. The Lumineers | The Lumineers
7. Some Nights | fun.
8. NOW 45 | Various Artists
9. Passione | Andrea Bocelli
10. Overexposed | Maroon 5

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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