Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, MAGIC! and Luke Bryan among others in the top 10 of Billboard's exclusive new ranking of each week's top acts
Today (July 10), Billboard proudly unveils the Artist 100, the first-ever weekly ranking dedicated to measuring artist activity across our most influential charts, such as the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and Social 50.
Modeled after the formula utilized to compile our annual Year in Music Top Artists list, as well as the Billboard Music Awards Artist of the Year category, the Artist 100 blends information culled from album sales, track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of an artist's popularity across all the main means of music consumption.
Thanks to the arrival of his album "Trigga" atop the Billboard 200, Trey Songz snares the No. 1 spot on the first Artist 100 in a tight race over Sam Smith, who claims the runner-up spot. (That's right: ironically, our first Artist 100 chart is led by an act named Songz.)
"Billboard is incredible at tracking and reporting the influence of artists across different avenues and I could not be happier to be No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the very first No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 at the same time," said Songz. "They've found innovative ways to measure artist activity and I applaud their forward thinking."
Songz's set sold 105,000 copies in its debut week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, nearly doubling the sales sum of the No. 2 album in the country, "x" by Ed Sheeran, who places at No. 5 on the Artist 100. While Songz garners most of his Artist 100 points (74 percent) from album sales, he's also benefiting from airplay, downloads and streaming of the set's tracks, most notably lead single "Na Na" (which peaked at No. 7 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in April) and follow-up "SmartPhones." Both titles reside within the top 30 of R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (Nos. 19 and 29, respectively), while "Na Na" leaps 33-21 on Streaming Songs (2.9 million U.S. streams, up 23 percent, according to Nielsen BDS).
Smith holds down the No. 2 spot on the Artist 100 with 65 percent of his points from song activity (airplay/sales/streaming). While his album "In the Lonely Hour" is performing solidly, dipping 2-3 on the Billboard 200 with 45,000 copies sold, lead single "Stay With Me" tops Digital Songs with 186,000 downloads sold. That track and Disclosure's "Latch," on which he's featured, both place in the top 10 of Radio Songs, at Nos. 5 and 8, respectively. (An artist sporting a featured credit on a song splits respective points, 30/70, with a title's lead artist; if multiple artists are featured on a song, they share that 30 percent.) Also in Smith's song mix is activity from his recent top 20 Hot 100 hit, "La La La" by Naughty Boy, which features Smith on vocals.
Current Hot 100 dominator Iggy Azalea boasts the No. 3 ranking on the Artist 100. The Australian rapper tops the Hot 100 for a seventh week with "Fancy" and holds at No. 3 as a featured act on Ariana Grande's "Problem" (which peaked at No. 2 for five weeks). Azalea's "The New Classic" ranks at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 (14,000). Overall, 71 percent of Grande's sum is from song activity, with digital song sales the largest influencer among all contributing chart factors (36 percent).
The No. 6 debut of "Don't Kill the Magic" by MAGIC! on the Billboard 200 (36,000 sold) aids a No. 4 Artist 100 showing for the Canadian quartet, while a No. 5 entry on Digital Songs for Grande's "Break Free," featuring Zedd, puts the songstress to No. 6 on the Artist 100 (below Sheeran), with her total track sales points nearly doubling from a week ago.
Rounding out the Artist 100 top 10 are Katy Perry (No. 7), 5 Seconds of Summer (No. 8), Jason Derulo (No. 9) and Luke Bryan (No. 10). Among all acts in the top 10, 5 Seconds of Summer (No. 3 on the Social 50 chart), post the largest social points percentage, with 17 percent of its overall sum from online fan interaction on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Wikipedia, as measured by Next Big Sound.
The Artist 100, exclusively presented by Wendy’s #PretzelLoveSongs campaign – a series of music videos celebrating the return of its pretzel bun, is the second new Billboard chart to launch this year, following the debut of the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts in May, which rank the most popular songs being shared and talked about on Twitter in the U.S.
The Artist 100 will refresh each Thursday morning on billboard.com and can be viewed in its entirety here.