Niall Horan, from the UK version of X-Factor and One Direction, released his debut single and it is blowing up all over town. It just broke a week or two ago that Niall was likely to sign with Capital and now he dropped his new single “This Town” yesterday. The track is topping the BB Twitter live chart and outselling the number two song on iTunes by a factor of 2. Can it last?
Remember when boy bands used to break up and the lead guy might go on to be a star while the rest just became the answers to trivia questions until they got back together for a tour 20 years and less hair later? What happened? Sure, Harry was going to have a career, but the rest of the guys? First Zayn debuts on the top of the Hot 100 and now Niall is topping iTunes? Wasn’t he the funny one or the nice one or the Baby Spice or something? Well, two things are different. The One D guys seem to have treated their time in a boy band as a boot camp to learn – improve their voices, learn writing skills, make connections. And social media. Social media has allowed artists to connect with fans and keep them interested in the down time. As HDD notes, Niall has a massive social footprint. On his own, he has 21M twitter followers, 17.2m Instagram followers and 10m Facebook likes. While we have learned that social media followers don’t always turn into buyers, it is one way to connect with people and get the word out. Niall has done a good job of staying engaged with fans and posting during the downtime. And like Zayn, he was wise to not let too long go between being in the band and releasing solo material.
Will this be just a flash of sales and then obscurity? We’ve seen it enough time with reality stars that they can get the first week buyers, but sustaining those sales can be hard. It depends if he can connect with a wider audience and get airplay (and streams). He debuted at 43 on the Pop chart this morning with 841 spins. Not too shabby.
In the album sales news, Shawn Mendes is set to have his first number one album. Speaking of social media. Shawn Mendes is another teen from Canada to get his start on social media. Unlike Bieber with youtube, Shawn was a Vine star. His debut single struggled for a while to be a radio hit, but it finally got there putting him on firmer ground for his second album and its singles. “Treat You Better” has had a much warmer reception out of the gate and now he is easily topping the sales and combined album charts – nobody is even remotely close. Luke Bryan is also debuting this week along with Crowder, Adele Dazeem (though HDD insists on spelling her name Idina Menzel) and Bruce Springsteen.
Reality singers appear on tracks on other albums. Carrie Underwood has a duet track on Keith Urbans “Ripcord” (21/27) while Fifth Harmony appear on Now 59 (10/26). Danny appears on the regular version of “Wow 2017” debuting this week while Lauren Daigle and Colton Dixon are added for the Deluxe version.
Hits Daily Double Sales (78%)
— 1 SHAWN MENDES ILLUMINATE ISLAND 97,484
— 2 LUKE BRYAN FARM TOUR…HERE’S TO THE FARMER CAPITOL NASHVILLE 16,666
3 3 JASON ALDEAN THEY DON’T KNOW BROKEN BOW 12,998
— 4 CROWDER AMERICAN PRODIGAL SIX STEPS 8,342
9 5 FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE DIG YOUR ROOTS BMLG 7,917
— 6 IDINA MENZEL IDINA. WARNER BROS. 7,479
8 7 BEYONCE LEMONADE COLUMBIA 7,045
— 8 BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN CHAPTER AND VERSE COLUMBIA 6,685
7 9 SUICIDE SQUAD VARIOUS ARTISTS WMG 5,908
18 10 NOW 59 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW/LEGACY 5,417 [Fifth Harmony]
28 21 KEITH URBAN RIPCORD CAPITOL NASHVILLE 3,361 [Carrie Underwood]
— 39 VARIOUS ARTISTS WOW HITS 2017 SPARROW 1,723 [Danny Gokey, Lauren Daigle, Colton Dixon]
HDD SPS (78%)
— 1 SHAWN MENDES ILLUMINATE ISLAND 108,860
1 2 DRAKE VIEWS YMCMB/REPUBLIC 20,380
— 3 LUKE BRYAN FARM TOUR…HERE’S TO THE FARMER CAPITOL NASHVILLE 18,546
2 4 SUICIDE SQUAD VARIOUS ARTISTS WMG 17,430
5 5 JASON ALDEAN THEY DON’T KNOW BROKEN BOW 15,973
10 6 FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE DIG YOUR ROOTS BMLG 11,932
8 7 TWENTY ONE PILOTS BLURRYFACE FUELED BY RAMEN 11,349
7 8 TRAVIS SCOTT BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING MCKNIGHT EPIC RECORDS 11,145
14 9 BEYONCE LEMONADE COLUMBIA 10,846
— 10 CROWDER AMERICAN PRODIGAL SIX STEPS 9,654
45 26 NOW 59 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW/LEGACY 5,819 [Fifth Harmony]
33 27 KEITH URBAN RIPCORD CAPITOL NASHVILLE 5,644 [Carrie Underwood]