Justin Bieber’s new music era is here. The phoenix-like Prince of Pop’s new single, “What Do You Mean?,” is expected to power onto the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart next week in the top five, or possibly at No.1, which would be a first for him in that chart.
In addition, the Biebs is on track for his first U.K. No.1 single on the official singles chart, after taking an early lead in the midweek Official Top 100 Singles Chart Update, and sending last week’s No. 1, Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song,” into second place.
The Bieb’s on course trajectory for the U.K. No. 1 will happen if he maintains his lead in U.K. singles sales, and comes after his emotional performance of the song at the MTV AMAs on Sunday (August 30), during which he broke down and cried on stage. To date, the highest position he has scored in the U.K’s official singles chart was a No. 2 spot back in 2012 with “Boyfriend.”
“What Do You Mean?” is the lead cut from Bieber’s upcoming, November-dropping album. The single was released to digital formats alongside a unique, skateboarding lyric video on August 28. A cinematic music video premiered on Vevo immediately after the VMAs.
On release, the single stormed to the top spot on the U.S. iTunes singles sales chart allegedly within five minutes, and punched into top spots on iTunes charts in 52 countries within two hours — a record in itself. It went on to top iTunes charts in 87 countries at its (so far) peak.
Def Jam, the record label where Bieber is signed, confirm “What Do You Mean?” pulled in a hefty 157,000 paid U.S. downloads within the first two days of its release, which will see it debut atop Billboard’s Digital Songs chart. The single is already No. 23 on the Building Mediabase Pop chart and picked up a massive 165 adds after radio impact.
Notably, after Bieber’s VMAs return, “Mean?” recorded its highest streams at Spotify on Monday, when it generated 1.48 million plays. Rewind to Friday (when the single officially rolled out, the track racked up 1.2 million plays, encoring with 1.3 million on Saturday and 1.2 million before the post-VMAs bump.
Industry analysts predict “Mean?” to sell around 300,000 downloads in the week ending September 3.
All will be revealed when the single debuts in the expected September 19-dated Hot 100 singles chart, which will reflect the sales and streaming numbers for the September 3-ending week, as well as radio play for the week ending September 6.
Billboard notes the track entered its Pop Songs airplay chart (for the week ending September 12) “after only three days of spins at No. 28 with 20 million in radio audience, according to Nielsen Music.”
Bieber’s new single is now positioning to challenge The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” which currently resides at No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, after shifting back up to the top last week’s No.2.
Just as the VMAs boosted sales and streaming of “Mean?,” the Biebs’ upcoming television appearances are likely to have a similar effect. Tonight, the singer will chat and perform his new song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, before shortly kicking off a week’s residency on the Today show.
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) September 2, 2015
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) September 2, 2015
— Variety (@Variety) August 31, 2015
Team Bieber and Def Jam are continuing their viral social media assists to spread buzz on “Mean?” and have asked fans to make 30-second lip sync and dance YouTube videos tagged #whatdoyoumeanviral.
— Def Jam Recordings (@DefJamRecords) September 1, 2015
Earlier Wednesday, Def Jam tweeted messages urging Beliebers to stream “Mean” on Spotify to unlock an exclusive special acoustic performance of the song by the Biebs. Naturally, #StreamWhatDoYouMean started trending on Twitter immediately.
— Def Jam Recordings (@DefJamRecords) September 2, 2015
No small part of the success story that is Justin Bieber’s return to the apex of the pop music firmament goes to quality music collaborations with Skrillex and Diplo (wearing their Jack Ü hat), who produced the acclaimed, bittersweet anthem “Where Are Ü Now,” which has now shot back into the top 10 on the U.S. iTunes singles sales chart after the VMAs.
The Bieb’s ongoing writing team-up with Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd — who co-wrote numerous tracks on the Canadian’s low-fi, R&B-drenched 2013 Journals LP and co-wrote “Mean?” with Bieber and Mason “MdL” Levy — has also been a good move.
With the heartthrob’s now long stretch of calm behavior, chart-slaying, and rapturously received VMAs turn returning the Bieber-narrative to a focus on his music, the young icon is undoubtedly off to a mighty start in his reloaded and rejuvenated creative chapter.
[Images via MTV / Getty Images / The Wall Group]