Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts.
This week, among chart highlights, Ed Sheeran logs a ninth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his smash "Shape of You," while Lady Gaga earns her first top 10 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart since 2013, as "Million Reasons" climbs 11-8 on the airplay ranking. Plus, Gary and Trevor flash back to this week in 1981, when Blondie's "Rapture" topped the Hot 100 (the week that the "Chart Beat" column premiered in Billboard magazine!)
As for Sheeran, Atlantic Records senior vp promotion John McMann stops by to talk about how the label has helped steer his success. Looking forward, he notes that fellow songs from Sheeran's new album, ÷ (Divide), including "Castle on the Hill" (originally released along with "Shape," with both debuting in the Hot 100's top 10 simultaneously, a first for an artist in a week), are performing well in streaming and/or airplay. What other songs could be released from the set? "'Castle' has been out there and fans love it," McMann says. "It could absolutely be the next single. But, 'Galway Girl' is streaming like nobody would believe. I think it's maybe between those two songs, but something else could raise its hand, too."
After that? Ballad "'Perfect' is definitely going to be a single," McMann says. "Hopefully, if all goes well, whatever the second single is gets rolling early this spring, takes us through the summer and then hopefully 'Perfect' will be the next single that will be this gargantuan thing going into the fourth quarter."
Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with Gary and Trevor, as well as artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!