The third in a series on how listeners engage with music across traditional and emerging platforms from Coleman Research is out, and this time it looks at the relationship between strong initial sales and songs that become hits. You would think that vigorous digital downloads would indicate future hits, but the latest research indicates not so much.
Coleman analyzed 26 consecutive weeks of the Billboard Top 10 Digital Songs chart, which ranks the biggest paid digital download singles. Coleman also compiled data from Billboard's Top 10 songs for radio exposure and on-demand streaming in each of the same 26 weeks. The findings: Only only one in six songs that debut as Top 10 bestsellers go on to become big hits on radio or on-demand.
More than half of the songs that debut as Top 10 bestsellers in their first week drop out of the Top 10. These are also the songs that don't go on to become big hits in terms of radio airplay or streaming. Less than 20 percent of songs that debuted as Top 10 bestsellers remained Top 10 bestsellers for at least five weeks. These songs were also among last year's biggest Top 10 hits on radio and streaming.
The bottom line? Don't look for hits from songs that are selling well this week. Look for songs that keep selling week after week.
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