Bruno Mars continues his ascension towards the top of the Billboard Social 50, jumping to a new personal high of No. 2 (up three spots). The rise comes a week after his new album, "Unorthodox Jukebox," arrived at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 while its lead single, "Locked Out of Heaven," spends it second week atop the Hot 100.
The Social 50 chart ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Myspace and Instagram. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist pageviews, song plays and reactions.
Mars hit the television circuit during the charting week, performing on the Dec. 18 season finale of NBC's "The Voice" and earlier that day on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." The latter was an acoustic rendition of "Count On Me" (from his previous album "Doo-Wops & Hooligans") performed in tribute to the shooting victims of Newtown, Conn.
He rises to the No. 2 spot on the Social 50 with a 3% rise in overall weekly fan acquisition, adding over 170,000 followers on Twitter and 387,000 on Facebook. However, the greatest contributing factor to his rise in the tally was his activity on VEVO, where he uploaded the rest of the tracks on "Unorthodox Jukebox" as videos. Each accumulated between 120,000 and 240,000 views, causing a 6% overall rise in weekly activity to his channel.
Could Bruno Mars make it to the No. 1 spot next week? That depends on whether or not Justin Bieber, who rises 4-1 to reclaim the Social 50 throne this week, can maintain online buzz centered around his upcoming album "Believe Acoustic," which became available for iTunes pre-order during the charting week. However, since the album doesn't drop until Jan. 29, 2013, and "Unorthodox Jukebox" still continues to do well on the Billboard 200, we could very well see a new No. 1 next week.
PSY'S 'STYLE' SURGE: PSY's viral video phenomenon, "Gangnam Style," passed an unprecedented milestone during the charting week by becoming the first video to pass 1 billion views.
The record was broken close to 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21. As previously reported, the week leading up to its 1 billion views, "Gangnam Style" gained close to 6.5 million views a day, or roughly 76 views per second. But as PSY closed in on the 1 billion mark, that rate rose to close to 140 views a second as buzz about the record grew online, accelerating PSY across the finish line. This rise in overall buzz propelled PSY up the tally (20-6), contributing to a 78% rise in overall YouTube plays and a 19% rise in reaction on Facebook, which helped lead to the addition of over 161,000 Facebook fans and 79,000 Twitter followers.
NORAH JONES, JENNI RIVERA DROP: As expected, spikes in online activity focused around an event or a tragedy are usually short-lived. Jenni Rivera, who experienced a meteoric rise to the No. 1 spot last week after her tragic death, falls to No. 39 this week after experiencing across the board drops in fan acquisition, views and plays. Norah Jones, who debuted at No. 34 the previous week following the passing of her father, Ravi Shankar, drops from the tally this week. At Rivera's rate of deceleration, it's likely that she'll drop from the tally the following week.
To round out the rest of the top 10, Rihanna is displaced (2-3) by Bieber and Mars, while One Direction rises (6-4) and Taylor Swift slips (3-5). Katy Perry ascends (8-7), swapping with Alicia Keys (7-8) while Eminem and Nicki Minaj hold steady at Nos. 9 and 10 respectively.