The virality of its socially conscious music video, which finds Gambino alternating between spirited dancing and striking gun violence, drives the entrance, as “America” arrives with 65.3 million U.S. streams in the week ending May 10, according to Nielsen Music, with a whopping 68 percent from video views.
“America” claims the 19th-most streams in a week (dating to the inception of Billboard ‘s first streaming chart in 2012) but boasts the third-largest percentage of streams from video among the 25 biggest streaming weeks. It trails only two weeks in March 2013 by Baauer‘s “Harlem Shake,” which, unlike “America,” was not fueled by an official clip, but fan-made videos incorporating the song’s official audio, as video accounted for nearly all the streams for “Shake” in those two weeks.
The closest non-“Harlem” competitor for “America”? Taylor Swift‘s “Look What You Made Me Do,” which, in its second week (Sept. 23, 2017), saw 63 percent of its overall streams from video; its first-week mark was 59 percent. Adele‘s “Hello” follows, with its first week (Nov. 14, 2015) showing 58 percent of its 61.6 million streams via video views.
That said, “America” isn’t just a major player on video services. The song also debuts at No. 3 on the On-Demand Streaming Songs chart, which tracks clicks from subscription-based on-demand audio services, as it garnered 21 million streams on those platforms in the tracking week. (Drake‘s “Nice for What” reigns with 28.2 million on-demand audio streams, followed by Post Malone‘s “Better Now,” with 22.1 million.)
As with his No. 1 debut on the Hot 100, Childish Gambino’s start on Streaming Songs marks his first No. 1 on the latter ranking. Unlike on the Hot 100, however, “America” is not his first top 10. “Redbone,” from his 2016 album Awaken, My Love!, hit No. 10 on Streaming Songs in July 2017.