Robin Thicke Thickens Hot 100 Run To Nine Weeks; Sets Audience and Sales Records

July 11: Robin Thicke performs onstage during Taste of Chicago 2013.

Dana Loftus

Robin Thicke, the newly crowned Billboard 200 champion holds steady atop the Billboard Hot 100 for a ninth week with “Blurred Lines” (featuring T.I. and Pharrell), which is numerically notable since its the longest run at No. 1 by a solo male artist since Flo Rida led for 10 weeks with “Low” starting on the Jan. 5, 2008, chart. However, it’s on the Hot 100’s breakout charts where Thicke and “Lines” are establishing record-setting achievements, as the title grabs the top Gainer award on each of the three charts; Hot 100 Airplay, Digital Songs and Streaming Songs.

“Lines” leads Hot 100 Airplay for a fifth week, and surges 6% to 219.8 million all-format audience impressions, according to Nielsen BDS, a new record for the chart which launched in December 1990. That sum ends the seven-year audience rule of Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” which peaked with 212.2 million impressions on the chart dated July 9, 2005.

"Lines" additionally extends another airplay record, claiming the Hot 100’s top Airplay Gainer honor for an unprecedented 10th week (all consecutively). As mentioned two weeks ago when the track set the mark with eight Airplay Gainer trophies, seven songs had previously racked seven weeks (consecutive or not) dating to the prize's 1985 origin.

As on the Hot 100, “Lines” tops Digital Songs for a ninth week (rebounding 2-1), with sales surging 30% to 405,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, in the wake of the parent album of the same name’s release. With that increase, “Lines” sets the record for most weeks with more than 400,000 downloads sold. The song also surpassed that sum in three successive chart frames (July 6-20), with a high of 424,000 in the first of those weeks. Prior to Thicke’s run, the mark for weeks of 400,000 or more downloads belonged to Gotye featuring Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” which strung together three such weeks from April 28 to May 12, 2012.

With 4.27 million downloads sold to date, “Lines” blurs past Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” (4.10 million) as the second-best selling digital song of 2013. Only Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, with 5.77 million, has sold more this calendar year.

On Streaming Songs, “Lines” returns to its peak position (3-2), up by 1.3 million to 8.19 million U.S. streams, narrowly trailing Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” (8.28 million) which tops the chart for a seventh week. “Stop,” which returns to the runner-up slot (3-2) on the Hot 100, is now tied with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, for second-most weeks at No. 1 on Streaming Songs. The longest stint atop the chart, which launched this past January, belongs to Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” with eight weeks.

In overall Hot 100 chart points, “Lines” posts it largest lead to date over its next highest challenger, more than doubling “Stop’s” point total. Unless one of the upcoming big single releases (Katy Perry? Lady Gaga?) post extraordinary first-week sales, airplay and streaming numbers, Thicke’s “Lines” could be entrenched at the top for quite some time and make its way among the all-time weeks on chart leaders. 

Looking at the rest of the Hot 100 top 10, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons moves back up a slot to No. 3, returning to its peak position which it occupied in two prior weeks. The track continues to glow on Hot 100 Airplay (3-3), reaching a new weekly audience impressions sum of 123.9 million (up 1%). The track dominates Hot Rock Songs for a 20th week.  Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” another long-time genre chart No. 1 (12th week atop Dance/Electronic Songs), rebounds 5-4, though overall points slide by 7%.

“Holy Grail” by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake continues to climb, jumping 7-5 in its fourth week on the chart (all in the top 10). The track’s trajectory (8-8-7-5) is a true rarity. Top 10-debuting Hot 100 songs normally drop in subsequent weeks, often rebounding once airplay kicks in and sales normalize after a first-week splash, followed by a second-week decline. The last top 10 debut (excluding No. 1s) to hold or gain in rank in the three weeks following its entry was Maroon 5’s “Payphone,” featuring Wiz Khalifa, in May 2012 (3-3-3-2)

For “Grail,” download sales have remained fairly steady. After debuting with 196,000, the track dipped by only 16% to 166,000 in its second week and sold 160,000 a week ago. This week, sales increase to 162,000 (up 2%) as “Grail” pushes 4-3 on Digital Songs. On Hot 100 Airplay, the title posts the best percentage gain among titles in that chart’s top 40, as is jumps 27% to 47.6 million audience impressions and soars 33-20.

Anna Kendrick’s “Cups” has yet to have its fill, as it continues to move up the Hot 100, reaching a new peak (8-6). The song concurrently rises into the to 10 of Hot 100 Airplay (11-9, up 11%) and the Mainstream Top 40 chart (11-10), while returning to the top 10 on Streaming Songs at a new peak (11-7, 2.9 million plays).

Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” may have reached its full chart value (it peaked at No. 5 two weeks ago) as it slides down the Hot 100 one spot to No. 7.

Finally (and refreshingly), the  Hot 100 welcomes a trio of new top 10s for only the  second time this year as “Clarity” by Zedd Featuring Foxes (13-8), Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound” (15-9) and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody” (14-10) break into the upper region. On the March 2 chart, the incorporation of YouTube data for the first time led to Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” opening at No. 1, “Stay” by Rihanna leaping 57-3 and Drake’s “Started From the Bottom” soaring 63-10.

Visit Billboardbiz tomorrow (Aug. 8), when all rankings, including the Hot 100, Hot Digital Songs, Hot 100 Airplay, Streaming Songs and On-Demand Songs will be refreshed, as they are each Thursday.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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