One of the rarest events in music is upon us once again. It’s Adele Season on Billboard’s charts!
On Oct. 14, the superstar released her first new song in nearly six years, “Easy on Me.” The piano ballad premiered at 7 p.m. ET across streaming services and digital retailers worldwide, alongside its official music video. (The song premiered globally, so, while it bowed at 7 p.m. ET in the U.S., it arrived concurrently at 12 a.m. in the U.K. on Oct. 15.)
“Easy on Me” is the first single from Adele’s upcoming fourth studio album, 30, due out on Nov. 19. Adele last released new music in November of 2015, with the release of her third album, 25. (And the 25 album came more than four years after her second album, 21.)
Adele’s track record on Billboard’s charts is impressive. Among her achievements from only three studio albums: two No. 1s on the Billboard 200 albums chart (with a combined 34 weeks atop the list), four No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, four No. 1s on the Pop Airplay chart, five No. 1s on the Adult Pop Airplay chart, five No. 1s on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart and three No. 1s on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart.
Her last two albums, 25 and 21, were led by the singles “Hello” and “Rolling in the Deep,” respectively. Both tracks hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 — “Hello” opened in the top slot (dated Nov. 14, 2015) and spent 10 weeks at No. 1, while “Rolling” ruled for seven weeks in 2011.
INITIAL U.S. SALES & STREAMS
“Easy on Me” sold nearly 15,000 digital downloads in its first five hours of availability in the U.S. (7 p.m.-midnight ET on Thursday, Oct. 14) according to MRC Data. Meanwhile, it collected over 3 million on-demand audio and video streams in the same time frame. (Digital retail stores and streaming services’ U.S. tracking week, as reported to MRC Data, ends at midnight ET [9 p.m. PT] every Thursday.)
On Friday, Oct. 15 in the U.S., “Easy” sold another 27,000 downloads, according to initial reports to MRC Data.
Adding up Oct. 14 and Oct. 15, the song has sold over 42,000 in a little over a day in the U.S. To put that number in perspective, only five songs have sold at least that many downloads in a single week in the U.S. in 2021, and four of them are by BTS.
Further updates on “Easy on Me’s” U.S. sales and streams, as well as its global sales and streaming performance, will be reported as the week progresses.
U.S. RADIO AIRPLAY
“Easy on Me” is off to a scorching start on U.S. radio.
The single drew 897 plays in its first five hours (7 p.m.-midnight ET on Thursday, Oct. 14), on 250 stations that report to Billboard‘s all-genre Radio Songs chart (whose panel includes over 1,300 stations covering multiple formats). Those 897 plays translate to 3.1 million all-format audience impressions for the song in that span, helped by hourly plays on multiple radio chains.
In its first full day of tracking (Friday, Oct. 15), “Easy” was played 4,160 times, generating 21 million in audience, again propelled, in part, by hourly spins. It ranked as the No. 1 most-played and most-heard song on radio Friday, ahead of runner-up “Stay” by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber (4,114 plays, 13.2 million in audience).
“Easy” drew 25 or more plays from its release through the end of Friday on 111 Radio Songs reporters, including stations in each of the 10 largest radio markets.
The song is set to debut on at least three individual format radio airplay charts, which are due to update Tuesday, Oct. 19, on Billboard.com. It could launch in the top 10 on Adult Contemporary; if it does, it would claim the first top 10 grand entrance for a non-holiday song since the chart adopted MRC Data information in 1993. The track is also likely to begin in the top 20 of Adult Pop Airplay and the top 25 of Pop Airplay.
The charts measure plays on respective panels of adult contemporary, adult pop and mainstream pop radio stations in the U.S., with the next editions, dated Oct. 30, reflecting airplay covering Oct. 11-17. “Easy” could, thus, debut on the surveys from airplay over its first three full days, plus its first five hours of availability.
What will be the impact of “Easy” on the airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Billboard Hot 100?
The chart’s tracking week for those metrics runs Friday through Thursday each week. “Easy” is eligible to arrive on the forthcoming Hot 100 (dated Oct. 23; covering the tracking week of Oct. 8-14) from only its first five hours of activity on Oct. 14.
“Easy” will make its first seven-day impact on the Hot 100 dated Oct. 30, as well as on the Radio Songs, Digital Song Sales and Streaming Songs charts dated Oct. 30, reflecting its performance in the Oct. 15-21 tracking week, the song’s first full week of release.
Highlights of the Hot 100 are revealed each Monday on Billboard.com, with the full chart, and all other rankings, updating each Tuesday. Highlights of the Oct. 23-dated Hot 100 will post this coming Monday, Oct. 18, with the full chart updating Oct. 19, while those of the Oct. 30 Hot 100 will publish Oct. 25, with the full chart posting Oct. 26.
While the 30 album will not be released until Nov. 19, expect Adele’s earlier albums to post gains on the Billboard 200 chart (dated Oct. 23), as well as the Catalog Albums chart.
On the most recently published Billboard 200 (dated Oct. 16, reflecting sales and streaming data in the U.S. for the week ending Oct. 7), 25 jumped from No. 174 to No. 83, while 21 surged from No. 198 to No. 119. Both albums rallied up the list in the wake of Adele’s Oct. 5 announcement of the then-forthcoming release of “Easy on Me.”
The top 10 of the Oct. 23-dated Billboard 200 chart is scheduled to be announced on Sunday, Oct. 17. All of Billboard’s Oct. 23-dated charts are scheduled to post in full to Billboard.com on Tuesday, Oct. 19.