“Perfect Illusion” Scores #1 Spin-Growth on US Radio Saturday

After reports surfaced earlier today supposedly confirming that Lady Gaga had been selected to perform at the Super Bowl next year turned out to be false, Little Monsters could use a little bit of good news.

ITunes sales f0r “Perfect Illusion” appeared to have largely stabilized while it was at #4 last weekend, but after about 1 week in the top ten, the song started dropping more quickly again. It currently sits at a dismal #51. This is a bad sign. Silver lining? Sia’s “The Greatest,” which for various reasons is clearly going to end up as another major hit and was only released a few days before “Perfect Illusion,” has shown a very similar dropoff curve, which indicates possible conformity with an unknown non-fatal structural trend.

However, the real good news comes from the radio numbers. Today marks the first day in which we can look at real week-over-week radio growth figures after the first day’s promotional airplay has dropped off the running tally. The trick is to watch growth figures stabilize into a predictable and consistent growth curve from which we can predict a song’s eventual peak.

The worst-case scenario would be essentially what happened to Britney Spears’  single “Make Me…” During its first week of release, it received excellent promotional first-day airplay and consistent and substantial radio airplay thereafter. But radio airplay at the end of the week was pretty much the same as at the beginning of the week, and after the promotional airplay dropped off, and the growth figures started to have a base level of airplay for comparison (the airplay total for the same day of the prior tracking week), it became clear that Britney’s single was barely growing in radio airplay at all. It never settled into a strong rate of radio airplay growth. It largely stagnated, and now, a month later, is well into a consistent decline curve.

The best case scenario is rapid day-over-day growth during the first week of release that lends itself to a still-impressive growth curve after the bump.

During the first week of airplay, I was concerned because “Perfect Illusion” did not appear to be exhibiting a clear pattern of day-over-day growth. At least, however, it did not appear to be losing ground.

So what are the numbers?

1.6M growth on overall US radio audience impressions (7th best). #73 (+8). +539 spins (1st best).

1.1M growth on US Pop radio audience impressions (6th best). #23 (+2). +299 spins (2nd best).

0.5M growth on US Adult Pop radio audience impressions (2nd best). #23 by spins (+0). +157 spins (1st best).

“Perfect Illusion” Update

“Perfect Illusion” was the 8th most-heard song overall on all of US radio during its first day of release, with 17 million Kworb-standard impressions. Radio impressions for subsequent days have been around 3.2M.

Primarily on the strength of first-day promotional airplay, “Perfect Illusion” debuted on the Pop Songs (Top 40) and HAC (Adult Pop Songs) weekly radio airplay charts for the tracking week ending Saturday, September 10th at #s 31 and 32 respectively.

NOTE: Sales and streaming are tracked on a Thursday – Thursday basis, and the two days of radio airplay were not alone enough to spark a debut on the Hot 100 for the tracking week that Billboard just reported on yesterday. This means that the initial promotional radio airplay spike will not count towards Gaga’s Hot 100 debut ranking. 

“Perfect Illusion” currently ranks at #4 on iTunes, and its sales decline appears to have slowed if not completely stabilized. Kworb.net currently estimates 95,000 first-week sales. Although not close to record-shattering, this is a robust figure that is consistent with the recent debuts of other big hits by major artists. It is comparable, for example, to the debut of Sia’s “The Greatest,” which is already clearly another huge hit. Of course, it is also comparable to the debut sales of Britney Spears’ “Make Me Ooh,” which subsequently stalled at radio.

“Perfect Illusion” currently ranks at #68 on the running weekly radio airplay chart. Given current trends, it should peak just inside the top 50 before its first-day promotional airplay drops off of the running tally.

On Spotify, “Perfect Illusion” was streamed 465,095 times in the United States on Monday, down from a peak of 594,798 on Friday, but up from a low of 422,776 on Sunday. It received 500,663 streams on Saturday. It is currently ranked at its low point of #30 on US Spotify. It debuted and peaked at #21. “Perfect Illusion” is currently at #32 on the Global Spotify chart with 1,432,210 streams on Monday.

By comparison, Sia’s “The Greatest” ranks at #11 on Global Spotify with 2,420,304 streams, and #15 on US Spotify with 613,759 streams. The #1 song on US and Global Spotify received 2,216,474 streams and 6,337,912 streams, respectively.

Gaga seems to have the strongest performance in Latin America and Mainland Europe. Here are the iTunes and Spotify positions for “Perfect Illusion” in every country in the world right now:

Perfect Illusion

 

“Perfect Illusion” scores solid 17 million first-day radio impressions

As expected, Lady Gaga’s new single has had a warm reception at pop and adult pop (HAC) radio during its first day of release, opening at #s 33 and 38, respectively, on the formats’ running weekly rankings.

Overall, Gaga’s new song was the #8 most-played song on US radio on Friday, largely based on the strength of promotional hourly airplay from iHeartRadio stations.

On iTunes, “Perfect Illusion” dropped to #2 on Saturday morning, in the face of continued strong sales for The Chainsmokers’ “Closer.” Both songs, however, maintain 2-1 sales leads over the #3 song, Twenty One Pilots’ “Heathens.” As previously reported, Gaga’s new single is expected to debut at #2 on digital songs after its first full week of sales, with 100,000 to 150,000 copies sold.

On the Billboard Hot 100, “Perfect Illusion” seems likely to debut in the top ten. It may crack the top 5, but is unlikely to contend for the #1 slot in the absence of intervention (i.e. music video drop, new scandal, television appearances, etc.).

Reviews of “Perfect Illusion” have been all over the board, with many commenters praising the song as one of Gaga’s best, but some were “unimpressed.” This review sums up the nuances of the contradictory positions particularly well.

One of the most-liked comments on “Perfect Illusion”‘s official audio on YouYube reads:

Perfect Illusion:
1st listen: What just happened…
2nd: I’ll give it a few more chances
10th: IT WASN’T LOOOVE
30th: Bitch take the grammy