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How Did Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’ Go Back Up the Radio Charts?

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Up, down, up. That’s been trajectory of ‘Boyfriend‘ — Justin Bieber‘s debut single from ‘Believe’ — on the radio charts. The single’s fluctuation is not uncommon for big-name artist finding it’s rotation footing, but for The Biebs, it was do or die, mission critical style.

At this stage of his career, he needs a solid radio hit, a song that cements him at the medium. When the song debuted, it was the singer’s first Top 10 single, after eight previous tries. Things were looking up, up, up.

That’s when the song began to drop down, down, down, seemingly losing its swag. Over a span of four weeks, the song tumbled down the charts, experiencing decreases in spins across formats, from singles to rhythmic. It appeared the tune had petered out and that The Biebs had failed to register a surefire radio hit, the one piece of the puzzle that his been missing in these early stages of his mega successful career.

Despite the dips in spins, his label IDJ did not abandon the first single in favor of another, a strategy most record companies employ when a song doesn’t take off.

Label president/COO Steve Bartels chalked the ebbs and flows up to big debut, due to programmer excitement. It then experienced a natural drop off when research came back as unfamiliar. The Biebs’ team was undeterred by such news.

“Radio needs to allow star artists the time to connect. Justin Bieber is one of those,” Bartels told Billboard. “I went back with my staff and our friends at radio and promoted belief. All the signs were there: video views, huge single sales, monster streaming and requests.” He’s right – ‘Boyfriend’ has shifted 2.1 million downloads.

IDJ’s ironclad belief in ‘Believe’ and The Biebs paid off, as the song has bulleted back up the charts. He performed the song on ‘The Voice‘ and the Billboard Music Awards, which also helped boost its visibility.

The label clearly wants to brand Bieber with radio formats, instead of relying on the teenage Belieber fanbase to carry the load. That’s a recipe for a career, not a flash in the pan trend. He has plenty of revenue streams and his tour sold out in minutes, so he is doing well. The one key piece the label and the artist want and need is radio. Looks like they’ve got it.

Watch the Justin Bieber ‘Boyfriend’ Video

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