Updates have been made to the Billboard Social 50 chart this week to better reflect the online music world’s ever-changing landscape.
The Social 50, launched in December 2010, has utilized fans/followers, plays and page views data from YouTube, VEVO, Facebook, Twitter and Myspace in its formula. Added to the mix this week is data measuring artist followers on Soundcloud and Instagram, along with page view data from Wikipedia.
Additionally, Billboard has added a new category of artist engagement to the Social 50 formula: “Reaction.” The first sources of data to contribute to this bucket are Facebook’s “People Talking About This,” a measurement of conversation about an artist taking place on the Facebook platform, and YouTube thumbs (i.e., the liking of a YouTube video).
Notable moves on the chart owed to these changes include Rita Ora’s debut, as the recent Roc Nation signee received a great volume of activity coming from Wikipedia as compared to her social channels. Such activity is expected, given that she’s new, as people are inclined to first look up who she is before following her on Facebook or Twitter. She enters the chart at No. 37, bringing more than 154,000 Wikipedia views to her name as she experiences an 85% increase in VEVO plays spurred by a pair of behind-the-scenes videos for her “Shine Ya Light” clip, which debuted two weeks ago (2.9 million views to date).
Another artist debuting for similar reasons is Ed Sheeran, who arrives at No. 44 with more than 115,000 views to his Wikipedia page and a 31% increase in overall fans across Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. The U.K. singer/songwriter has continued to raise his profile among fans due to his breakout single “The A Team,” which bullets at No. 6 on the Rock Songs chart, and his collaboration with Taylor Swift, “Everything Has Changed,” from her album “Red,” which has spent its first two weeks atop the Billboard 200.
Turning attention to the Social 50’s top 10, in its 52nd week on the chart, One Direction makes it to the No. 1 spot for the first time as traffic from the group’s Nov. 2 video release “Little Things” and accompanying teaser videos prompted a 138% increase in plays across VEVO, propelling the British boy band from No. 10. One Direction debuted the song’s clip by first releasing the track’s official lyric video (18 million views to date) and five preview videos that came out each day of the charting week until the Friday that the video arrived; the videos each have obtained roughly 775,000 views each. The video release schedule helped to keep fans engaged throughout the week as evidenced by a 159% increase in Facebook reaction.
One Direction’s move bumps PSY down the Social 50 (1-2), as Swift stays steady at No. 3 and Justin Bieber slides (2-4). Rock band Suicide Silence debuts at No. 5 after the act’s lead singer, Mitch Lucker, died on Nov. 1 following a motorcycle accident. In turn, web traffic across the band’s Wikipedia page rose an astounding 7,200% from 100,000 views to 731,000 during the charting week, while conversation on Facebook pushed a 2,250% increase in reaction from fans offering support and condolences for the band’s loss. Suicide Silence has the highest Facebook reaction count of anybody on the chart this week, except for Michael Jackson (No. 28) and regional Mexican star Jenni Rivera, who edges into the tally with a No. 48 debut.
Katy Perry and Rihanna remain in the No. 6 and No. 7 positions, respectively, while Lady Gaga climbs (13-8) and Adele tumbles (4-9). Jennifer Lopez anchors the Social 50’s top 10 at No. 10.