Music Photos of the Week
September 7: Niall Horan and Zayn Malik of One Direction hangs out with Justin Bieber after the VMAs for some bromance.

Justin Bieber blocks One Direction from making a return trip to No. 1 on Billboard's Social 50 chart, as he keeps the British/Irish group at bay at No. 2 for a third straight week.

 

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.

 

The Social 50's No. 1 slot isn't the only title Bieber denied One Direction from earning in the past seven days. During the chart week, One Direction -- in a widely-socialized stunt -- encouraged fans to watch their new music video for "Kiss You" in the hopes of breaking VEVO's one-day view count record. However, the group fell just short of the record, held by -- you guessed it -- Justin Bieber.

 

According to VEVO, with 10.4 million views in 24 hours ending on Jan. 8, "Kiss You" just missed breaking the record held by Bieber's "Beauty and a Beat" (10.6 million views on Oct. 13, 2012).

 

 

Fueling the record attempt was One Direction's Niall Horan, who Tweeted on Jan. 8, "#kissyouonvevo #letsbreak11million!," hours before the 24-hour mark ended, rallying fans to watch (and rewatch) "Kiss You." The track, though not yet officially promoted to U.S. radio stations, has re-entered at No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week.

 

It has sold 207,000 digital downloads to date in the U.S., according to Nielsen Soundscan.

 

The Justin Bieber vs. One Direction VEVO rivalry began back in May of 2012, when Bieber's "Boyfriend" took the VEVO 24-hour record from Rihanna's "Where Have You Been." Then on Sept. 27, One Direction's "Live While We're Young" squeaked past Bieber's record with 8.34 million in a day, only to be passed by Bieber's "Beauty and a Beat" (featuring Nicki Minaj) once again a month later.

 

Check out the timeline below for a history of VEVO 24-hour view record holders starting in 2012:

 

Jan. 21, 2012 - Nicki Minaj, "Stupid Hoe" - 4.8 million views
May 1, 2012 - Rihanna, "Where Have You Been" - 4.9 million views
May 4, 2012 - Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend" - 8 million views
Sept. 21, 2012 - One Direction, "Live While We're Young" - 8.34 million views
Oct. 13, 2012 - Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj, "Beauty and a Beat" - 10.6 million views

 

Despite all of the VEVO-related buzz, One Direction holds at No. 2 on the Social 50 chart despite a 34% gain in weekly activity to their VEVO channel, with "Kiss You's" success and preceding teaser videos earning a whopping 38 million views during the week. A 15% rise in Facebook reaction gave way to a 154,000 increase in Facebook likes during the week. 191,000 Twitter followers added contributed to their overall fan base increase as well.

 

In other Social 50 news . . . David Bowie debuts at No. 35 after surprising the world with a new single ("Where Are We Now?") and the announcement of a new album, "The Next Day" on his 66th birthday, Jan. 7.

 

The single became immediately available to stream on his new Web site, as did its music video, which garnered 1 million VEVO views since its debut. That contributed to a 240% jump in weekly activity to his channel, while his online fan base grew by over 40,000 fans. Bowie additionally received over 470,000 views to his Wikipedia page, a 400% increase compared to the previous week.

 

Bowie's new album is due out in the U.S. on March 12.

 

Back in the top 10: Taylor Swift remains steady at No. 4 while Britney Spears and Rihanna trade places (the former moves 5-3 while the latter dips 3-5). Bruno Mars holds fast at No. 6 while Beyonce rises to break the top 10 (15-7), captivating the Web's attention with the release of her GQ magazine cover photo. Selena Gomez and Katy Perry remain steady in the Nos. 8 and 9 positions respectively, while PSY continues his downward trend to dip 7-10.