Love her or hate her, there is no disputing that Taylor Swift is a music juggernaut. So when she dropped her new single "Look What You Made Me Do" from her upcoming album Reputation, the former country superstar-turned-pop-sensation was able to break a few records.
The lyric video for for the song at 19 million views set the record for the most viewed lyric video within its first 24 hour period in YouTube's history. Within the same time period, it was also streamed 8 million times by fans from all over the world.
She is also the fastest female artist to reach the top of the US iTunes chart at less than 35 minutes. "Look What You Made Me Do" was downloaded more than 184,000 times. And it is projected to sell 500,000 digital copies in the US in its first week- the biggest since Adele's "Hello" in 2015.
With metrics like these, it seemed inevitable that Taylor Swift would topple the current No.1 "Despacito" off its stay in the Billboard 100, right?
Not quite, and it has a lot to do with Billboard's way of tracking the performance of singles.
Let me explain. The tracking week for sales and streaming begins on a Friday and ends on a Thursday, while chart-results are released on a Tuesday. "Look What You Made Me Do" was released on Friday midnight (August 25), which means that it did not make the cut for the current tracking week of Tuesday chart result release (August 29).
It debuts on the charts though on the strength of radio airplay, which is tracked differently from Monday to Sunday, which means the song could still accumulate spins from Friday to Sunday.
It's complicated but the reason for this, is that they need to account sales and streaming properly, while radio airplay is readily available on real time. Of course that is not really a big issue for Taylor Swift. She could top the charts next week for all she cares. But this week's Hot 100 chart release is significant for "Despacito" and Mariah Carey.
"Despacito" is the biggest song of the year. It is the most streamed song in history with 4.6 billion plays, and its music video is the most viewed video on YouTube's history. It has been sitting on top of the Hot 100 charts for 16 weeks, and it has already tied the record held by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men for "One Sweet Day".
There is a strong possibility that Taylor Swift could prevent "Despacito" from surpassing "One Sweet Day" by taking the top spot on next week's chart. If that happens maybe Mariah and Boyz II Men should send Taylor a thank you note.