Swift stays at the summit, with digital sales for “Never” dropping significantly, a contrast to the song’s strong airplay gains. “Never” spends a second week at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart with 307,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 51% slide from its debut on the list last week with sales of 623,000, an opening-week sum that marked the best for a song by a woman in SoundScan history. In its first two weeks of digital availability, “Never” has sold 930,000 downloads.
Such a drop-off in second-week digital sales is typical for titles that make monstrous first-week splashes. Even with its decline, “Never” becomes one of just five songs this year to sell more than 300,000 downloads in multiple weeks. Fun.’s “We Are Young” (featuring Janelle Monae) tallied seven such weeks; Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (featuring Kimbra), six; and, LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” and Maroon 5’s “Payphone” (featuring Wiz Khalifa), two each.
Radio airplay, meanwhile, continues to swell for “Never,” which wins the Hot 100’s top Airplay Gainer ribbon, lifting 14-13 in its third week on the Radio Songs chart (67 million all-format audience impressions, up 30%, according to Nielsen BDS). The song is the greatest gainer on Pop Songs (18-16, up 27%) and Adult Pop Songs (21-18, up 32%), although it drops 13-19 on Country Songs (down 30%). Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned stations, a majority of them country-formatted, aided the song’s radio debut with intense airplay on Aug. 6-7; following the specialty spins, plays on those country stations largely regressed, spurring the song’s slip on Country Songs.
“Never,” the lead single from Swift’s fourth studio album, “Red,” due Oct. 22 on Big Machine Records, has not yet been made available to streaming services that also contribute to the Hot 100’s data pool. Thus, it does not yet rank on the On-Demand Songs streaming chart.
Although sales for “Never” more than halve, the song still claims the Hot 100’s top spot over Flo Rida’s former one-week No. 1 “Whistle.” (“Never” decreases by 41% on overall Hot 100 points, while “Whistle” slides by only 2%). “Whistle” holds at No. 2, climbing 8-5 on Radio Songs (81 million, up 10%). It falls 2-3 on Digital Songs (180,000, down 10%), although it passes 2 million in sales to-date. On On-Demand Songs, it rises 3-2 (771,000 on-demand streams, down less than 1%, according to BDS).
Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” (3-3) makes it a static top three on the Hot 100, while Maroon 5’s “One More Night” charges 9-4 with the chart’s top Digital Gainer award for a third consecutive week. The song jumps 4-2 on Digital Songs (195,000, up 26%), 25-16 on Radio Songs (50 million, up 25%) and 28-19 on On-Demand Songs (415,000, up 20%).
Fun.’s “Some Nights” jumps 6-5 on the Hot 100 with gains on Radio Songs (19-14; 52 million, up 14%) and On-Demand Songs (5-4; 739,000, up 6%). On Digital Songs, it drops 3-4 ( 169,000, down 7%).
Jepsen concurrently adds her second Hot 100 top 10 in as many chart appearances, as “Good Time,” with Owl City, climbs 13-9 with top Streaming Gainer honors. The duet bounds 16-10 on On-Demand Songs (509,000, up 19%), while pushing 8-5 on Digital Songs (144,000, up 13%) and 17-15 on Radio Songs (51 million, up 10%). Its latest sales frame pushes it past 1 million downloads sold to-date.
Jepsen and Owl City (aka, Adam Young) each notch their second Hot 100 top 10s. With “Good Time” following “Maybe,” Jepsen is the first woman to send her first two entries as a lead act on the chart to the top 10 since Ke$ha arrived with the nine-week No. 1 “TiK ToK” and the No. 7 hit “Blah Blah Blah” (featuring 3OH!3) in 2009-10. Including featured billings, Jepsen joins Sia, whose first two Hot 100 appearances this year, both in guest roles, have reached the top 10. Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” rose to No. 5 in May and David Guetta’s “Titanium” peaked at No. 7 in July; Sia sings the chorus in each track.
Owl City returns to the Hot 100’s top 10 after debut single “Fireflies” spent two weeks at No. 1 in November 2009.
Justin Bieber rounds out the Hot 100’s top bracket, as “As Long as You Love Me” (featuring Big Sean) retreats 8-10. Although it declines by 9% in sales to 131,000 (holding at No. 6 on Digital Songs), the song again bullets at No. 9 on On-Demand Songs (595,000, up 7%) and lifts 18-17 on Radio Songs (50 million, up 8%).
Check Billboard.com tomorrow (Aug. 30), when all rankings, including the Hot 100 and On-Demand Songs in their entirety and Digital Songs and Radio Songs, will be refreshed, as they are each Thursday.