Taylor Swift‘s “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” has already topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts (dated Nov. 27), and now adds another impressive, if perhaps unlikely, achievement: It reaches its first Billboard radio airplay chart, entering Adult Pop Airplay at No. 38, up 52% in plays in the Dec. 13-19 tracking week, according to MRC Data.
The song has overcome two notable challenges in bowing on the ranking: It’s not being promoted, by Republic Records, as a proper radio single, and it clocks in, in its longest form, at over 10 minutes.
It’s even competing for airtime against another Swift song that is receiving a focused promotional campaign at radio: “Message in a Bottle (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” which ranks at No. 12 on Adult Pop Airplay, with an 11% gain in plays.
Both songs are from Swift’s re-recorded album Red (Taylor’s Version), which debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart dated Nov. 27, marking her 10th No. 1, and has ranked in the tally’s top three in each of its first five weeks.
“All Too Well,” long a fan and critical favorite among Swift’s catalog following its original release on her 2012 album Red, was expanded to a 10-minute, 13-second version, along with its 5-minute, 29-second re-recording, on Red (Taylor’s Version). (Additionally, its short film video runs 14 minutes and 56 seconds long.)
The re-recorded song, all versions combined, has drawn 124.8 million streams and sold 68,900 downloads in the U.S. from its release through Dec. 16.
Despite the song’s length (historic among No. 1 Hot 100 singles, and with the average time of a Hot 100 top 10 so far in 2021 under three minutes), and its lack of an official promotional push, seven Adult Pop Airplay panelists played “All Too Well” more than 10 times each in the latest tracking frame. Audacy-owned KLLC San Francisco led with 61 spins (up from 34 the week before), followed by WWBX Boston (43), KDMX Dallas (22), WTIC Hartford, Conn. (21), WHBC Canton, Ohio (16), WTMX Chicago (12) and WEZN Bridgeport, Conn. (11).
“In radio, we’re always looking for real hits, songs that are generating buzz, social media mentions, streaming numbers … the songs that people really bond with,” says Mike Mullaney, assistant program director/music director at Audacy-owned WWBX. “When the new version of Red dropped, it was all about ‘All Too Well.'”
Mullaney notes that the station is playing the song’s 10-minute version. “It’s a narrative, a compelling story that never feels like 10 minutes,” he says. “It’s a story you hang on every word of.”
Says Jenny Valliere, md at Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTMX, which is playing the song’s shorter version per its listeners’ preference, after sampling both, “I’m a fan of the song and Taylor is a core artist for us.”
The song bows as Swift’s record-extending 37th Adult Pop Airplay entry.
Concurs Joel Murphy, pd of Alpha Media’s WHBC, which likewise is playing the shorter mix of “All Too Well,” the station “added it due to the consumption numbers and buzz. I think it sounds great on the air.”
“All Too Well” is also bubbling under the Pop Airplay chart (where “Message in a Bottle” bullets at No. 20), up 58% in detections. Six reporters to the survey played it more than 10 times in the latest tracking week, led by Alpha Media’s WDJX Louisville, Ky. (46). (Of the 2,000-plus U.S. stations and satellite signals monitored by MRC Data, SiriusXM’s TikTok Radio, which does not contribute to a format-specific panel, leads with nearly 250 plays from the song’s release through Dec. 19.)
Meanwhile, another song from Red (Taylor’s Version) continues to scale a Billboard airplay chart: “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” featuring Chris Stapleton, ranks at No. 33 on Country Airplay. Being promoted to country radio by MCA Nashville, the song drew 2.3 million impressions at the format (up 4%) in the tracking week.