Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pop Drop: Drake Knocks Justin Bieber Off Number 1 After 23 Days, “What Do You Mean” Struggles at Radio


Update: I stand corrected. “What Do You Mean” was written and produced by Jason Boyd and Mason Levy to sound like Skrillex and Diplo’s “Where Are U Now?”

Justin Bieber– August 28th must seem like a dream to him now. That’s when he released “What Do You Mean,” a pretty bad pop single constructed by producers Diplo and Skrillex. But with clever social marketing and an appearance on the VMAs, Bieber managed to keep “What Do You Mean?” at number 1 on iTunes until…yesterday.

Summer, you see, is over. And so is “What Do You Mean?” It’s been replaced by Drake’s “Hot Line Bling.” The Bieber single spilled to number 9 briefly yesterday but has since rebounded to number 2. Are fans stuffing the ballot box, so to speak? I guess you can buy as many digital copies as you like. In the old days, this would have been boxes of actual singles. This is so much tidier.

But the real story of “What Do You Mean?” is more evident at radio, where it’s struggled. After 23 days, the single is at number 8 on Mediabase’s Top 40 radio chart. It’s up 8.8% from last week, but far behind Selena Gomez’s number 1 song, “Good For You.” Of course there’s a big irony there since Bieber and Gomez were once a romantic pair.

“What Do You Mean?” has probably peaked, although you never know: the right incentive could still push it to the top. The fact is, just turn on a radio. The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” and Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph”, as well as all Taylor Swift, are ubiquitous. Want to hear “What Do You Mean?” You’ve got to wait a while.

Bieber’s album hits stores November 13th. Then we’ll see what shape he’s in, saleswise.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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