PSY's "Gangnam Style" is set to battle for No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 next week, while One Direction's "Live Like We're Young" look set to headline next week's Hot Digital Songs chart.
In the battle between "Style" and Maroon 5's "One More Night" for No. 1 on the Hot 100, here's how each song's sales are tracking at the present. PSY's tune, fueled by its video in which the Korean rapper shows off his horse-like gyrations, could sell in the range of 260,000 to 280,000, as the song has been trending down, so say industry forecasters, for most of the week. Still, the weekend can always throw a wrench into proceedings, and anything is possible. Last week, PSY's cut sold 293,000 downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
For Maroon 5, its current Hot 100 No. 1 "Night" is on course to sell another 160,000 to 180,000 downloads, according to industry projections. Last week, it moved 181,000, according to SoundScan.
Maroon 5's deficit in sales compared to PSY was overcome on the current Hot 100 by its large lead in airplay. Last week, "Night" ranked as the No. 2 title on Hot 100 Airplay with 116 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen BDS (up 15 million), while "Style" jumped 34-23 with 46 million impressions (up 12 million). After slightly more than two-and-a-half days of the Hot 100 Airplay tracking week, Maroon 5's audience impressions stand at 44 million (up 3 million from the same tracking period a week ago). PSY, however, is at 18 million impressions (up close to 4 million from its week-to-date total last week).
The final wild card is streaming data: "Night" stood at No. 1 in streaming points this past week (807,000 on-demand streams, up 4%, according to BDS), but PSY ranked at No. 2, soaring from No. 9, with the chart's largest streaming gain (up 30% to 799,000), narrowing its overall Hot 100 points deficit with that improvement.
In all, the projected sales totals and continued gains for "Style" indicate that it could dethrone "Night" on the Hot 100 No. 1 next week.
One Direction's "Live While We're Young," meanwhile, is still tracking to start with a sales week of perhaps more than 300,000 and could be the week's top-selling digital song when the Hot Digital Songs chart is finalized on Wednesday (Oct. 10). Label sources indicate that "Live," which hit retail on Monday, started off with incredibly strong sales on its first day, but then tapered off as the week progressed. After its first two days, it settled into a steady, but still strong, sales pattern.
Also vying for the title of the top-selling song of the week is Taylor Swift's "Red" and, as previously noted , Adele's "Skyfall." Swift's single is on course for a start just above 300,000. That sum would nearly mirror the launch of her "Begin Again," which was the second pre-release single from her Red album. It started at No. 1 on the Hot Digital Songs chart this past week with 299,000 sold, according to SoundScan.