Vocal group Mindless Behavior makes its Social 50 debut this week, coming in at No. 47 thanks to being featured on Vevo's emerging artist platform "Lift" and their relentless fan engagement on Facebook and Twitter.
Starting on Oct. 5, Vevo featured video interviews with band members Prodigy and Princeton, giving fans a candid look at the lives of the teen stars. Since the clips premiered, they have earned a total of 300,000 plays, boasting their week-to-week Vevo plays in the range of 2.2 million.
From Oct. 14 through Nov. 20, the band will tour the United States on its "Scream" tour, sharing the bill with Diggy, Jacob Lattimore, Hamilton Park and OMG Girlz. Along the way, Mindless Behavior has been doing various Facebook promotions, including asking fans to post a picture of themselves holding tickets for a chance to become their "Fan of the Day." The group is also encouraging fans to request its latest single, "Mrs. Right," using a social radio app called Spins.fm.
Judging by the consistent prompts for fan participation on Facebook and Twitter, it's clear that Mindless Behavior is a young act with young fans, investing their energy in social media. While they're certainly in high-gear because of their album release and tour, this engagement is a staple of who they are and who their fans are.
Billboard's Social 50 chart ranks the most active artists on the world's leading social networking sites -- YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and iLike -- using a formula blending weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with weekly artist page views and weekly song plays.
Another chart debut comes from Latin pop group Aventura at No. 50. Interestingly, though, it's not the group that's causing the commotion -- it's member Romeo Santos. Leading up to the Nov. 8 release of his solo debut, "Formula, Vol. 1," Aventura has been promoting his works via the group's Facebook page, helping itself leap onto the chart. That Aventura charted due to Santos gives a look at how much momentum is behind his solo debut. On Oct. 4, the singer uploaded the video for the single "Promise" (featuring Usher). Since then, it has quickly ranked up 1.4 million Vevo views.
Week-to-week, plays and views have remained relatively stagnant for Aventura. But looking at the jump from 22,000 fans gained last week to 46,500 fans earned this week, it's clear Santos has a budding fanbase.
Making a 32-18 rise into the top 20, Boyce Avenue continues to make waves on the chart. On Oct. 12 the group released a cover of "Fix You" by Coldplay, featuring fellow YouTube and Social 50 star Tyler Ward (35-29). Upon its release, the video was featured on YouTube's homepage in several countries, helping it pull in 2.5 million views and ratchet up their week-to-week profile views from 174,000 views last week to 263,000 views this week.
What's most interesting about Boyce Avenue is that, unlike other artists on the chart, its placement is based on the consistency of their activity rather than its volume.
At a certain point, just being Justin Bieber (No. 1) and Rihanna (7-10) warrants enough social force that they rise and fall without putting out any new content. Boyce Avenue, on the other hand -- along with cover stars Christina Grimmie (No.28) and Cimorelli (40-37) -- sustain themselves on the chart due to the frequency of the videos they upload to YouTube and the millions of views it averages.
More traditional stars are on album release cycles and receive boosts in activity when they release new singles. YouTube stars maintain video release cycles and are able to keep themselves above the fold -- and at the top of mind -- as they typically put something out every single week.
While a single Bieber or Rihanna video fetches potentially hundreds of millions of views, in time, they become less popular. A cover song video often peaks a couple million views, but over time the collective catalog makes up the difference. That's why Social 50 is rife with both massive pop icons and YouTube stars at the same time.