The Billboard 200:
— Taylor Swift: In the final tracking week of the year (week ending Jan. 2, 2011), Swift’s “Speak Now” held at No. 1, selling 77,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan (down 72%) as the chart adjusts back to non-holiday
— Susan Boyle, Jackie Evancho, “Glee”: The weeks following Christmas each year can always be counted on to shake up the Billboard 200 chart, as holiday albums fly down (and off) the tally, leaving room for contemporary sets to thrive. For example, Susan Boyle’s “The Gift,” dives to No. 31 with 19,000 (down 92%), Jackie Evancho’s “O Holy Night” slips from No. 4 last week to No. 39 (16,000; down 89%) and the “Glee” Christmas set plows from No. 3 to No. 108 (7,000; down 96%).
— Vampire Weekend, B.o.B, Kid Cudi: Meanwhile, as Christmas-flavored albums take a hike, they make room for some albums to gain momentum. Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” vaults up 106 slots (the chart’s largest positional leap) to No. 89, B.o.B’s “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” flies 98 rungs to No. 66 and Kid Cudi’s “Man On the Moon: The End of the Day” rises 86 spots to No. 90.
— Kari Jobe: After more than a year’s absence from the chart, Kari Jobe’s self-titled album returns to the list at No. 81 — the highest re-entry of the week — just shy of its No. 67 peak on the Feb. 28, 2009 chart. Family
Christian Stores are behind the out-of-nowhere gain, as the influential chain has the title sale priced through the end of January for only $5. The album is up 303% in overall sales and 747% at chain retailers.
— The Maine: Only four albums debut on the chart this week, led by the Maine’s “In Darkness & In Light” soundtrack to the short film of the same name (No. 93; 7,000).
The Billboard Hot 100:
— Katy Perry: After ducking out of the way of Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” last week, Perry”s “Firework” returns to the Billboard Hot 100 summit for a fourth cumulative frame. Perry”s inextinguishable track ranks at No. 2 on both Hot Digital Songs with 398,000 downloads (down 22%), according to Nielsen SoundScan, and on Hot 100 Airplay with 124.5 million listener impressions (down 1%), according to Nielsen BDS.
— Bruno Mars: Mars’ “Grenade,” which drops to No. 2 on the Hot 100, holds atop Digital Songs for a third week with a still-healthy 425,000 downloads (down 24%) — the 11th best sales week since SoundScan began tracking
digital track sales in 2003.
The song”s total a week ago (559,000) stands as the third-highest weekly sum. A week ago, the Christmas holiday bumped up against the end of SoundScan”s tracking week (Sunday, Dec. 26) and in turn, the annual mp3 and gift card-sales effect seems to have spilled over into two weeks.
Digital sales dip only 4% from a week ago. Last year”s week to week dip in the comparable frames was 26%. This week”s total is 13% greater than the seven-day period which included New Year”s Day 2010. If we were to combine track sales from the week ending Dec. 26, 2010 and week ending Jan. 2, 2011 and matched them up against the comparative weeks from a year ago, it would show an overall 5% sales spike.
— Taylor Swift: Her former top 10 “Mine” is the chart”s top Airplay Gainer, rebounding 42-31 with almost 50% of its 7.5 million audience gain coming from adult contemporary radio stations which transition to normal programming following extended runs playing Christmas music. The chart sees a number of songs jump back up the chart due to the post-holiday radio airplay effect, including many country tracks as that format is another that breaks for Christmas fare during the season.
— Mumford & Sons: The Grammy-nominated act (best new artist) rebounds up the list 74-64 with “Little Lion Man” in its 21st chart week, careening closely to the song”s No. 61 peak established in November. Normally a song would move to recurrent status past its 20th chart week if it ranked below No. 50, but the title”s surge provides a stay of execution.
The track has increased in spins in each of its seven weeks on the radio-based Adult Top 40 chart and earns the Greatest Gainer award on the Alternative radio chart (12-11, up 57 plays), where it peaked at No. 1 back in October. “Lion Man”s” honor on the latter list is a combination of a soft chart week due to end of year specialty programming, which both afforded a title with such a small improvement the chance to be the top gainer, and provided the song additional plays as it undoubtedly ranked at or neat the top of many stations” year-end countdowns.
— Nickelodeon: A pair of acts from the cable network grab Hot 100 honors thanks to the channel filling up a bulk of its New Year”s Eve weekend with multiple episodes of its hit series “Victorious” and “Big Time Rush.” The “Victorious” Cast featuring Victoria Justice cops the list”s Digital Gainer award, leaping 58-50 with a 20% download spike to 79,000 for “Freak the Freak Out.” Meanwhile, network sibling Big Time Rush takes Hot Shot Debut honors, indicating the highest new entry on the list, at No. 79 with “Big Night” which sells 46,000 (up 105%).