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Chart Beat Podcast: What's Taylor Swift's 'Reputation' at Pop Radio Right Now?
As latest "Reputation" single "Delicate" climbs the Pop Songs airplay chart, radio expert Sean Ross stops by to discuss Swift & the state of top 40.
Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.
This week, as always, we cover highlights of the Billboard Hot 100, where Drake earns his longest-leading No. 1 with "God's Plan" and charts three simultaneous top 10s, thanks additionally to his featured turn on hits by BlocBoy JB and Migos.
Plus, Ross on Radio industry newsletter author, and Billboard contributor, Sean Ross joins the podcast to discuss current trends at top 40 radio, with a spotlight on how the singles have been faring from Taylor Swift's album Reputation since its November release and in comparison to the achievements of her prior album, 1989.
Ross cites Reputation lead single "Look What You Made Me Do," which topped the Hot 100 and the Pop Songs airplay chart but made a record 1-to-7 drop on the latter list. Follow-ups "…Ready for It?" and "End Game" (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future) reached Nos. 12 and 10, respectively, on Pop Songs, where latest single "Delicate" this week climbs to No. 25. Comparatively, the first five singles from 1989 all hit No. 1 on Pop Songs in 2014-15.
"I don't think anyone is promised a hit," Ross says. "I think radio wants Swift to have hits. I just don't think radio gives you five chances to have a hit … if the first one doesn't come through."
Ross also muses that 1989 brought an added level of anticipation in that it was Swift's first all-out pop album after four sets that made her a country superstar. "She reinvented herself," he says. "It's just hard to do that a second time."
Gary and Trevor wrap the podcast by flashing back to Lauryn Hill's 1999 hit "Ex-Factor." The song has been sampled in two new tracks, Drake's "Nice for What" and Cardi B's "Be Careful," both of which should shine on the Hot 100 next week.
Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!