Taylor Swift ascends 5-1 on the Social 50 to helm the chart (her second time a No. 1) concurrent with buzz generated by the Academy of Country Music Awards (April 7). Despite not taking home any trophies, including the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year Award, she won the hearts of fans for fulfilling a promise she made to a fan battling leukemia by taking him as her date to the show.
The Social 50 chart ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Myspace and Instagram. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist pageviews, song plays and reactions.
Two years ago, Kevin McGuire's sister started a Facebook campaign to get Swift to be his prom date, and in turn, Swift responded by asking him to the ACMs. He was too ill to attend at the time, but this year she upheld her promise and McGuire and his family accompanied him to the show.
The press generated gave way to favorable online buzz, which equated to the addition of 305,000 new fans on Facebook (up 6%) and 327,000 new Twitter followers (up 21%). A video Swift posted to her YouTube channel encouraging fans to vote for her in the ACMs received just over 43,000 views during the charting week, contributing to a 9% overall rise in viewing activity on the channel.
Elsewhere on the chart, Austin Mahone re-enters at No. 48, following some particularly active engagement with his fans online. Mahone is a regular on the VEVO LIFT program which showcases artists with behind the scenes footage, exclusive interviews and video debuts. During the charting week, Mahone visited a rodeo, created his own custom Nike shoes in New York City, and answered fan questions all on his VEVO channel. The result: a 13% increase in weekly VEVO plays resulting in over 1.8 million views to the channel. This caused a 45% rise in reaction on Facebook (where he featured each of the videos) and gave way to 65,000 new fans on the platform.
Making her Social 50 debut at No. 50 is singer Victoria Justice, star of the Nickelodeon show "Victorious." (Social 50 veteran Ariana Grande is cast as her sidekick on the show.) Though Justice doesn't have a solo album yet, she's made it onto the Billboard charts before with the rest of the cast of "Victorious" with several singles. The highest charting of these, "Freak the Freak Out," peaked at No. 50 on the Hot 100. Justice enters the Social 50 tally with 211,000 new overall fans acquired during the week (a 53% increase) and 349,000 overall video views (up 5%).
And finally, to recap the top 10, Bieber falls (1-3) as he's displaced by Taylor and Rihanna (4-2). Bruno Mars rises (9-4) while Timberlake recedes from his initial 20/20 Experience splash (3-5). One Direction and Shakira hold steady at No. 6 and No. 7 respectively, and Britney Spears rebounds into the top 10 once again (12-8). Katy Perry edges upwards (10-9) while Beyonce slides to anchor the leaderboard (2-10).