Top of the pops?: How BBC One's new primetime music show has impacted the biz

Top of the pops?: How BBC One's new primetime music show has impacted the biz

It’s Friday and, right now in the music industry, that means primetime pop music on BBC One.

Sounds Like Friday Night – which debuted a week ago, days after Music Week delved inside the show in our cover story – is now one episode old. That means the music business is now starting to see an answer to the question we posed to the great and the good of the industry: what will the show mean for the biz?

Well, let’s start with record sales. On last week’s opening episode, Greg James and A.Dot were joined by guest host Jason Derulo, Jessie Ware and Charlie Puth; all of whom performed live in the cavernous hulk SLFN calls a studio. 

Let’s begin with the good news. After his performance of How Long, Atlantic’s Charlie Puth saw a 45% sales surge to put the track at No.9 in the singles chart, according to Wednesday’s midweek figures. The song leapt up from No.17 last week, which isn’t a bad return at all and proves the show can impact sales.

As for Jason Derulo, his track If I’m Lucky rose two places thanks to just shy of 8,000 sales. Jessie Ware’s Alone has fallen 10 spots 60-70, but the South London singer has never necessarily been a singles artist, so perhaps it’s unfair to highlight that particular stat. Ware’s album, Glasshouse, was released on October 20, and was nestled at No.7 when the show aired, thanks to 8,448 sales. This week it has sold 2,114 and is currently placed at No.32.

As an aside, Stormzy’s appearance on ITV’s X Factor has seen Gang Signs & Prayer shoot 32-14 thanks to 3,500 sales. The song he performed, Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2, is new at No.37 with 7,155 sales.

Tonight, SLFN’s second episode will see Liam Payne arrive as guest host and performer, with another Liam, Gallagher, and London Grammar also set to play live. Here, SLFN arguably has its first heavyweight acts, in that both Payne and Gallagher are firmly in cycle, two performers whose pop stock is high at the moment.

Oasis’ former singer recently sold 40,000 tickets in just five minutes and is riding the wave of a brilliantly executed album campaign, which of course included a Music Week cover appearance. Liam rocketed to No.1 with solo debut As You Were, which now stands on 145,984 sales. Crucially, the record houses successful single tracks – Wall Of Glass, Chinatown, For What It’s Worth, Greedy Soul – so it’ll be intriguing to see how they do post-show.

As for One Direction’s Liam Payne, his just-dropped single Bedroom Floor hit No.28 last week thanks to 11,723 sales. Its predecessor Strip That Down has now sold 783,185 copies, so Capitol will be expecting Bedroom Floor to rocket. Will the singer’s appearance on SLFN be the catalyst?

This second outing for the show, which received mixed reviews, feels like it’ll give more of a gauge of the extent to which artists can expect a boost in numbers. People are already talking about both Liams, and that could prove invaluable, particularly given the show’s focus on social media.

And then there’s Ministry Of Sound’s London Grammar, who hit No.1 back in June with Truth Is A Beautiful Thing (121,338 sales to date). Will their album benefit from a primetime airing?

There’s only one way to find out, and Music Week will be here to report it. In the meantime, remotes at the ready, see you at 7:30…

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