Official HIGE DANdism's 'I LOVE' Returns to Top Japan Hot 100 as TikTok Launches Indie Artist Eito to No. 5

Official HIGE Dandism
Courtesy of Billboard Japan

Official HIGE DANdism

Official HIGE DANdism's "I LOVE…" returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 dated April 27 to May 3, logging its sixth week at the top after leading streaming for the 12th week in a row, look-ups for the third, and video views for the 10th.

Figure-wise, the long-running hit sold 1,492 copies this week (up from 1,253 the week before), was streamed 5,810,967 times (down slightly from 5,856,967), and the music video was viewed 8,001,711 times (up from 7,650,003), indicating that the song maintains enough appeal to continue its reign on top of the Japan Hot 100.

The phenomenon of a song gaining traction on TikTok and accelerating its popularity on other streaming and video platforms has been noticeable in the U.S. for a while, and Japan is quickly following suit. The song at No. 5 this week, Eito's "Kousui," is an indie track that attracted attention from its repeated use on the short-video platform, leading to its breakthrough in streaming (No. 3 this week, higher than the long-running hits "Hakujitsu" and "Gurenge") and video views (No. 12).

Previous TikTok-generated hits in Japan, such as "HandClap" by Fitz and the Tantrums, tended to first gain popularity in video views, but more recent examples -- including "Kousui" and Rinne's "snow jam" -- are directly linked to streaming. This is probably because more people are using TikTok and audio streaming platforms in general now, usually both simultaneously. If this pattern takes hold, it would increase the chances for non-mainstream and non-current songs to gain visibility, a welcome development in terms of expanding the pool of songs that could become the next big hit in Japan.

With many CD releases being pushed back due to coronavirus, this week's No. 1 for physical sales is Golden Bomber's "CD kattara (souryou) sayounara." This single, released exclusively on their label's official online merch site, sold 6,041 copies in its first week, breaking the record for fewest CDs to hit No. 1 for the metric since its inception in 2008.

The only other metric this single collected points in this week was look-ups (No. 34), which counts the number of times a CD is ripped to a computer, resulting in the rare outcome of the top song for sales -- in this case, the first track on the CD single, called "Love for 'M'" -- not charting on the Japan Hot 100.

The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! video views, Gracenote look-ups, audio streams from Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, AWA, Google Play Music, KKBOX, LINE MUSIC, Rakuten Music, RecMusic provided by Gfk Japan, dHits, Uta Pass and Spotify, plus karaoke data from Daiichikosho and XING (excluded until further notice).

Billboard Japan Hot 100 Top 10 (dated April 27 to May 3)
1. [2] I LOVE… / Official HIGE DANdism (1,492 copies / 19,616 downloads / 5,810,967 streams)
2. [4] Gurenge / LiSA (1,584 copies / 21,980 downloads / 3,942,736 streams)
3. [3] Pretender / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 9,468 downloads / 4,893,966 streams)
4. [5] Hakujitsu / King Gnu (none / 11,714 downloads / 4,219,910 streams)
5. [34] Kousui / Eito (none / 2,940 downloads / 4,593,548 streams)
6. [8] Yoru ni kakeru / YOASOBI (none / 4,913 downloads / 3,487,190 streams)
7. [7] Shukumei / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 5,398 downloads / 3,230,033 streams)
8. [9] Parabola / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 8,475 downloads / 2,867,439 streams)
9. [11] Marigold / Aimyon (none / 9,111 downloads / 2,538,921 streams)
10. [6] Hana ni bourei / Yorushika (none / 5,920 downloads / 1,692,142 streams)

[ ]: Position last week
( ): Physical sales / downloads / streams (Top 50 only)