With four songs released and each reaching the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 within the last four months, you can say CHR radio is a Belieber.
Justin Bieber, the one-time teen pop star is in an extremely active creative period as a young adult. Since September he has released “Holy,” featuring Chance The Rapper; “Lonely,” produced by Benny Blanco; “Monster,” with Shawn Mendes and “Anyone,” which dropped on New Year’s Day.
This comes after Beiber’s February 2020 release “Changes” and the charity single “Stuck With U” with Ariana Grande. It’s also part of the plan hatched by Bieber and manager Scooter Braun, who instead of launching a new album decided to release a new single every month.
Def Jam VP/Head of Promotion Nicki Farag thought Braun was crazy. “Who’s gonna want to consume that much Bieber in such a short amount of time?” Farag said during a planning meeting, according to Billboard.
Apparently, everyone as “Anyone” debuted at No. 6 on the Hot 100 and all four songs are still in the Top 25 on Billboard’s Pop Airplay chart.
“I’m not saying that consumers want to hear a new Justin Bieber record every seven minutes, but you’ll hear three within an hour, no flack,” Farag now realizes.
Mark Medina, Program Director at iHeartMedia CHR tastemaker “Z100” WHTZ New York tells Billboard all four records are working. “People who have put out a slew of records at the same time or back-to-back-to-back, they don’t always all become radio hits,” he says. “But so far, that’s what’s happening.” He believes the traditional way of releasing singles, backed by weeks, sometimes months of promotion, before releasing another one may become a thing of the past. The reasoning? Songs become hits quicker with multiple exposure points, such as streaming audio services.
Former radio programmer Alex Tear, now VP Pop Music and Programming at SiriusXM/Pandora, agrees. “If I wait three weeks for a label to roll out a [single] campaign, the kids have chewed it up and spit it out after five days. I’m looking late, and not in the now,” he tells Billboard. “That’s not healthy for radio.”
Bieber is not the only artist to have multiple singles on the charts simultaneously. Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and The Weeknd have had success this way, whether planned or not. Farag believes this approach only works for established artists. “I don’t think newer artists are able to do that,” she tells Billboard. “You really gotta ride a new song [for those artists] all the way to the end, because they need to prove themselves still.”