Justin Timberlake climbs the 10-3 on Billboard’s Social 50 chart this week, following his lengthy August 25 performance on the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA). On the show, he performed a 12-song medley that included a brief reunion with his ‘N Sync bandmates.
The Social 50 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 page views, song plays and reactions as measured by music analytics company Next Big Sound.
Social buzz around Timberlake also exploded around the launch of ‘N Sync’s official Twitter account. The group’s first Tweet was sent on August 24, which helped its follower count grow from 32,000 on Aug. 23 to 191,000 by August 25, according to Twitter. The ‘N Sync reunion also spurred a 184% rise in album sales and a 226% lift in song sales for the group in the week ending August 24. According to Nielsen SoundScan, their albums shifted 6,000 for the week while their songs moved 28,000 units. (A larger gain is expected next week, after a full week of sales impact is felt, post-VMAs.)
While the social buzz didn’t push ‘N Sync onto the Social 50 chart, Timberlake himself gained 878,000 followers across Facebook and Twitter (up 59%), enabling his 10-3 leap this week.
Twitter became a very busy place when Timberlake took the stage during the VMAs. During his performance, Twitter users generated 219,800 Tweets per minute (TPM) during the live broadcast, the second-highest TPM of the show. The winner of that count was Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, whose medley of “We Can’t Stop,” “Blurred Lines” and “Give It 2 U” generated 306,100 TPM. To compare, the 2012 VMAs saw a TPM high of 98,300, while this year’s Superbowl netted 231,000 TPM during the game’s lengthy blackout delay.
Further down the Social 50 this week, Ellie Goulding debuts at No. 40 with a 58% boost in weekly fan acquisition (adding 214,000 fans overall). The bow comes after she was a surprise guest at Taylor Swift’s concert on August 23 in Los Angeles. In addition, during the charting week, Goulding promoted the August 27 debut of “Halcyon Days,” the deluxe edition of her debut album “Halcyon.”
Back to the top 10: One Direction spends its second week in a row at No. 1 while Shakira rises 5-2, again fueled by high fan engagement around photos of her child Pique. Without a VMA appearance, Justin Bieber slides 2-4, Taylor Swift moves 4-5 and Katy Perry dips 3-6.
Demi Lovato was on vacation in Africa during the week, and rises 14-7 from a 144% increase in weekly Instagram followers (she posted quite a few vacation snapshots). Miley Cyrus dips 8-6, a move we can expect to be reversed next week due to the amount of post-VMA buzz we’ve seen so far, along with Ariana Grande (7-9) who performed during the VMAs pre-show broadcast. Britney Spears closes out the top 10, falling one rung to No. 10.