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Chart Beat Podcast: Can Taylor Swift Hit Even Greater Heights With ‘Reputation’?

For all she's already achieved on the charts, can she reach further milestones? Plus, songwriter-producer Sam Martin discusses crafting hits for Jason Derulo, Maroon 5 & more.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

After, on last week’s podcast, analyzing Taylor Swift‘s vault to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Look What You Made Me Do,” Gary and Trevor this week look ahead to the Nov. 10 arrival of her new album, Reputation, and discuss what new chart heights to which she could soar with the set and its singles.

Swift has already set the bar historically high with, among other honors, each of her five studio albums so far having outsold the last in their debut weeks. (The first-week sales number for Reputation to beat: 1.29 million copies sold, the total, according to Nielsen Music, with which 1989 arrived in 2014.)

Digging deeper, Gary and Trevor discuss how other superstars were faring at similar points in their careers, including Madonna, who continued to top the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 more than a decade after her debut; Mariah Carey, who’d landed 15 Hot 100 No. 1s and would subsequently reign with one of the biggest hits of the 2000s; and Rihanna, who, having bowed on Billboard‘s charts a year before Swift, still regularly dominates multiple rankings. (Key to such longevity: adaptability to different musical styles.)


Plus, pop songwriter, producer and artist in his own right Sam Martin joins the podcast to muse about his impressive chart resume, having co-penned the top 10 Hot 100 hits “Want to Want Me” for Jason Derulo (No. 5, 2015) and “Daylight” for Maroon 5 (No. 7, 2013), along with chart entries for Nick Jonas, Prince Royce and David Guetta. Martin is additionally featured on Guetta’s “Dangerous,” which hit the Hot 100, and No. 6 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, in 2014. On the Dance Club Songs chart, Martin has made three appearances, including as featured on Guetta’s “Lovers on the Sun,” which rose to No. 3 in 2014.

Martin has recently released his own new single, “Bring It Home.”

Despite his pedigree, Martin still marvels at the songwriting process and songs’ often mysterious sources. “It’s a bizarre thing to do for a living,” he says. “People don’t know where the ideas come from. I study Bob Dylan, John Lennon, other people I’m inspired by … they all say the same thing: it comes through them from somewhere else. I’ve watched people write hit songs in front me … I’ve written hit songs in front of other people … it’s, like, ‘Why can’t I do it on command?’

“Whenever I write with people, I’m like, ‘You are capable of something genius. Let’s see if it will strike today.’ “

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!