As previously reported, "We Are the World 25: For Haiti" by Artists for Haiti launched at No. 2 last week on the Billboard Hot 100.
This week, the all-star benefit track debuts at No. 40 on the Adult R&B radio airplay survey and bubbles under Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs and Adult Contemporary.
While 96 percent of the Hot 100 chart points last week for "We Are the World 25: For Haiti" stemmed from digital sales, 246 radio stations sampled the song following its Feb. 12 premiere during the 2010 Winter Olympics' opening ceremonies on NBC.
Chart Beat reached out to stations that have played the update of USA for Africa's 1985 classic. Below are programmers' thoughts on the new recording, which include listeners' reactions, how the 2010 version compares to the original, and their estimates on future airplay.
(Read part one here).
WBEB (B101)/Philadelphia (Adult Contemporary)
Chuck Knight, program director
Is it a hit radio record? Probably not. Very few six-minute, forty-five second songs are. It does seem to drag on (maybe to satisfy the egos that were in the studio)? Even so, the song does what it was intended to do: call attention to the plight of Haitians and raise money for relief efforts.
There was a lot of media hype about the song, and for it to have debuted in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics was a great opportunity. We put the cut in a strong rotation in the first week to let our audience hear it and to feel plugged in to pop culture. In week two, we're dramatically decreasing its spins.
Overall, the impact of the song may have been diminished by the poor job the project organizers did of servicing the song, or more specifically, an edit, to radio. I think that's affected the number of stations that have wound up playing it.
WMC (FM 100)/Memphis (Adult Pop)
John Roberts, program director
We feel that "We Are the World 25" is an "event" song deserving to be showcased for a short period of time because it's topical for our target demo; its cause (benefiting Haitian earthquake victims), the timing of its recording (following the Grammy Awards) and its debut (during the Olympics), as well as its superstar lineup.
It helps that our format is well-represented, with solo lines from Fergie, Pink, Miley Cyrus and Adam Levine of Maroon 5. The inclusion of other relatable stars such as Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz, Jordin Sparks and Orianthi only makes the song more relevant to our listeners, along with, of course, the other celebrities in the video, such as Randy Jackson, Vince Vaughn and Jeff Bridges.
Given all these factors, this past week we slotted the song a couple of times per day. For the remainder of this coming week, we'll back it down to one play each day and by the weekend it'll likely be gone completely.