Taylor Swift Catalog Rises in Streams Following Eras Tour Kickoff
In this week's Trending Up, Swift hits the road and the streaming charts, while very differently paced singles from Coco Jones and Fifty Fifty take over TikTok.
Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.
This week: Big hits and deep cuts across Taylor Swift’s catalog gain in the wake of her Eras Tour kickoff, while Coco Jones scores a breakout ballad and Fifty Fifty hits a “Cupid” bullseye.
Taylor Swift’s Tour Kickoff Yields Streaming Bumps Across “Eras”
Last week, Taylor Swift kicked off her Eras stadium tour with a career-spanning, three-hour-plus extravaganza at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., setting social media ablaze with setlist reactions and outfit exclamations on Friday and Saturday (Mar. 17 & 18). The dozens of thousands in attendance in Arizona were lucky enough to see all 44 songs live — but plenty of other Swifties across the U.S. celebrated the superstar’s first proper headlining concert in over four years by pressing play on some of the hits that were at long last being taken on the road.
Beginning last Friday, when the Eras tour officially kicked off, daily streams for some of Swift’s most notable hits scored noticeable upticks. “Blank Space,” her Billboard Hot 100-topping smash from 1989, was up 18% in daily official on-demand U.S. streams on Friday compared to the previous day, according to Luminate, while the Lover title track posted a daily gain of 20%.
“Cruel Summer,” the first full song to be performed within the Eras setlist, did even better: Its daily streams more than doubled between the day before the tour launch (352,000 streams) and Monday (750,000), as more social clips of Swift finally performing the 2019 hit were feverishly shared. The current singles from Swift’s most recent album, Midnights, also enjoyed notable bumps: “Anti-Hero” rose 14% in daily streams from Thursday to Friday, while “Lavender Haze” earned a 31% increase on the same day.
Also contributing to Swift’s overall streaming totals coinciding with the Eras tour kickoff: the four “From The Vault” songs that she shared on Friday, which include three “Taylor’s Version” re-recordings of previously released songs (“Safe and Sound,” “Eyes Open” and “If This Was a Movie”) as well as an unreleased track, “All the Girls You Loved Before,” from the Lover sessions. The latter has gotten off to a hot start at streaming, scoring over 4 million streams on its release day, to go with 11,000 U.S. digital sales on Friday. As “Girls” continues to reside within the upper reaches of daily streaming charts on Spotify and Apple Music, Swift could notch another nice Hot 100 debut next week, after she takes the Eras tour to its second stop in Las Vegas this weekend. — JASON LIPSHUTZ
Coco Jones Slows Things Down on TikTok With “ICU”
While Coco Jones may currently be best known to audiences as the actress behind Hilary Banks on the Peacock reboot Bel Air, she may be following in the multi-platform footsteps of Tatyana Ali — who played cousin Ashley on the ’90s Fresh Prince, and reached the Hot 100’s top 10 in 1998 with “Daydreamin'” — with a hit single of her own. Following its Nov. 2022 release, Jones’ “ICU” has been gradually going viral on TikTok over the past few weeks — and bucking trends on the app in the process.
While an increasing majority of TikTok hits in the past year or so have taken off via sped-up versions — or sounded sped-up to begin with — “ICU” is a pointedly slow-and-low love song, near-stunning in its patience. And rather than crank the BPM back up, users have responded to it in its original tempo by responding to Jones’ vocal challenge and recording their own duet verses for the track. Consequently, the song has climbed 59% from just under 2 million official on-demand streams the chart tracking week ending Feb. 23 to over 3.1 million on the week ending March 16, according to Luminate. And it’s still climbing, meaning “ICU” may be moving to the waiting room for numerous Billboard charts soon. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Fifty Fifty Scores an Odds-On Hit With “Cupid”
Korean pop artists haven’t necessarily been able to score the kind of breakout crossover streaming hits on the Billboard charts that many of their English- and Spanish-language counterparts have found via TikTok and other virality-boosting platforms — but recent singles by girl groups NewJeans (who scored a pair of Hot 100 hits earlier this year) and now Fifty Fifty indicate that their luck may be starting to change.
Fifty Fifty’s bilingual disco-pop jam “Cupid,” released in February, has taken off through a series of dance challenges and other uses on TikTok, and was given additional life by a new “Twin Version” recorded entirely in English. The song has exploded from an already-impressive 2 million official on-demand streams in its first full tracking week (ending March 2) to nearly 4.7 million for the week ending March 16 — a rise of 131%, according to Luminate. “Cupid” debuts at No. 106 on the Global 200 dated March 25 this week, and if it keeps growing, it might aim its bow and arrow at the Hot 100 before long. — A.U.