Justin Bieber's 'What Do You Mean' Debuts on Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks… Before It's Released
Bieber owns the fourth most-shared song on Twitter this week, and no one’s even heard it yet.
Bieber announced on July 29 that the new track would be released on Aug. 28. It’s expected to be the lead single from the superstar’s next studio album, the follow up to 2012’s Believe. The new cut also benefits from a celebrity-studded promotional campaign, in which several of Bieber’s friends are counting down the days remaining until the “Mean” release. In just the first week, Ryan Seacrest, Mariah Carey, Kylie Jenner and Shaquille O’Neal have been enlisted to help.
Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks is a weekly ranking of the most shared and/or mentioned songs on Twitter in the U.S., ranked by the volume of shares over a seven-day period (Monday to Sunday). Bieber’s song, despite not being officially released, is eligible to chart. "What Do You Mean" isn't the first track to chart before any of its audio has been released. YouTuber Ricky Dillon recently debuted on the Aug. 1-dated chart with "Beat" (reflecting data collected in the week ending July 19). Dillon announced "Beat" on July 13 as a forthcoming single, but it wasn't released until July 26.
The huge buzz surrounding the song lifts Bieber to 1.6 million Twitter mentions for the week ending Aug. 2, according to Next Big Sound, and he jumps 36-22 on the Billboard Artist 100.
1D’s “Down” Goes Up: One Direction storms to a No. 1 debut on Twitter Top Tracks with their surprise new single “Drag Me Down.” The group unveiled the track on July 31, triggering a surge to the top of the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140, where it held at No. 1 for more than 14 hours. The massive social response spills over to the Artist 100, helping the group zoom 64-28. The song is expected to make a splashy debut on next week's Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Notably, “Drag” is a milestone release for the U.K. lads: it marks the group’s first release since Zayn Malik departed the band in March. As “Down” debuts, the title becomes One Direction’s 20 entry on Twitter Top Tracks (which launched in May 2014), extending their huge lead among all duos and groups (5 Seconds of Summer ranks second, with eight charted titles). “Down” is the first single from the quartet’s upcoming album, due in November.
Drake v. Mill, Round Two: The beef between Drake and Meek Mill continues this week as tracks from both rappers reach Top Tracks. Drake nets the higher entry, as “Back to Back” clocks in at No. 3. The cut -- the rapper’s second diss track aimed at Mill -- reached SoundCloud on July 29 before being made available for purchase two days later.
Not to be outdone, Meek Mill posted his own diss, “Wanna Know,” on July 31. The track features Quentin Miller -- Drake’s alleged ghostwriter, according to Mill -- and production from Jahlil Beats and Swizz Beatz and enters at No. 6 on Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks.
Drake, however, isn’t the only artist scoring a charting track by taking on Meek Mill. Rapper Safaree, an ex-boyfriend of Nicki Minaj, climbs onto the chart at No. 39 with “Lifeline,” in which he drops several stingers aimed at Mill (Minaj’s current beau) and claims that he wrote several verses on Minaj’s The Pinkprint album. The set debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in January.