As fourth quarter brings its annual bounty of superstar releases (just in time for the busy holiday shopping season), three songs help usher in this year’s onslaught, as Taylor Swift, Ke$ha and Rihanna are set to enter next week’s Billboard Hot 100 with new singles.
Industry sources say that Swift’s “Begin” could sell 300,000 downloads or more by the end of the tracking week on Sunday (Sept. 30). Ke$ha’s “Young” could start with more than 200,000, as could Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” Predicting the latter song’s sales is a bit harder for industry forecasters than the first two, as it was released on a Wednesday instead of Tuesday (the more common label practice). “Diamonds,” thus, will launch on next week’s Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts with one day less of a sales sum than its competitors.
By comparison, Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” the first single from her last studio album, “Talk That Talk,” bowed at No. 7 on Digital Songs (Oct. 8, 2011) with 117,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (That song hit retail on a Thursday). “Found” then built steadily in weekly sales, reaching No. 1 on Digital Songs four weeks later. One week after that, it began its 10-week rule on the Hot 100.
Rihanna’s “Diamonds” is already shining extremely brightly on the building Radio Songs chart, showing at No. 6 with 22 million in all-format audience, according to BDS. Its first-day airplay was aided by promotional airplay on participating pop, rhythm and adult pop Clear Channel Media and Entertainment stations, so, following that initial splash, it isn’t likely to maintain a top five rank when the Radio Songs chart is finalized next Wednesday (Oct. 3). It will still, however, make a grand entrance on the survey.