Week Ending Feb. 24, 2013. Songs: “Harlem Shake” Stays Put
If a song is potent enough to enter the Hot 100 at #1, you might expect that it’s likely to settle in for a long run in the top spot. In recent years, for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out that way. Of the last 10 songs to debut at #1, just two have snagged a second week on top: Lady Gaga’s 2011 smash “Born This Way” (which spent its first six weeks at #1) and Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” (which holds at #1 for the second week).
“Harlem Shake” debuted at #1 last week, concurrent with Billboard’s decision to add YouTube video streaming data to the Hot 100 mix. The song amassed 98 million streams this week (down 5% from last week’s staggering total of 103 million). Still, that’s more than 10 times as many streams as the song at #2: “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Wanz), which amassed 9.5 million streams. Streaming data is just one element in the Hot 100 mix, but it’s obviously going to be an ever-more-important one.
“Harlem Shake” is still lagging in radio play. The song registered 6 million “audience impressions” this week, but that’s nothing compared to the current Hot 100 Airplay leader, Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.,” which registered 131 million audience impressions. But powerhouse Warner Bros. Records announced this week that it is now promoting “Harlem Shake” to radio, which should boost those airplay figures.
“Harlem Shake” was released commercially in June, but didn’t start to catch on until two weeks ago, when it sold 18K digital copies. Then, it became a full-fledged viral phenomenon. Last week, it sold 262K. This week, it jumped again to 297K.
“Harlem Shake” is #1 on Dance/Electronic Songs for the second week.
Following up on my lead, of the last 10 songs to enter the Hot 100 at #1, these eight songs spent just that one week at #1: Fantasia’s “I Believe,” Carrie Underwood’s “Inside Your Heaven,” Taylor Hicks’ “Do I Make You Proud,” Britney Spears’ “3” and “Hold It Against Me,” Eminem’s “Not Afraid,” Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” and Katy Perry’s “Part Of Me.”
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz holds at #2 for the second week, following its four-week run in the top spot. The song is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the seventh straight week, with sales of 364K. This is the seventh time its sales have topped 300K. Only one other song in digital history—“We Are Young” by fun. featuring Janelle Monae—has achieved that feat. Will “Thrift Shop” break fun’s record next week? Since it’s so far above 300K this week, I think it has an excellent chance.
“Thrift Shop” tops Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs for the seventh week. That’s the longest run in the top spot for a song by a white artist since Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U” spent 11 weeks on top in 2007.