What's the Bar for a Hit Song? - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-25-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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What's the Bar for a Hit Song?

What would TBT or any U2 single going forward need to achieve chart wise that you would consider it a hit?

Would you use the Hot 100 as an indicator or radio format charts or perhaps a combo?

It's an honest question cause I myself am not sure. This is not meant to start arguments about how U2 will NEVER have a hit song again but just to calibrate cause well why not.

For me I guess:

Hot 100 top 75 would be a "hit" for U2. I would use the Hot 100 because it seems like a source that takes into account multiple listening avenues (direct sales, radio, streaming)
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:26 AM   #2
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Good question.

Looking at other established rock bands performance gives us some idea.

I looked at the Foo's, greenday, chili peppers and the killers...

They all had some higher charting songs back in the late 90's, and early to mid 2000's
So i looked at their most recent songs that have charted on the top 100

Foos - 2011 they had a number 68 and 87
Peppers - 2016 - number 67
Green Day - 2012 - number 97. Even American Idiot only hit number 61
The Killers - 2012 - number 78

I didn't dig into other rock and alt charts, but my guess is that they probably were in the top 5 or 10 at least with these songs on those charts. Possibly some AC crossover.

So I think you are about right in your assessment. I would think somewhere in the 60 to 70 range on the top 100, and simultaneously getting in the top 5 on rock, alt, and AC charts would count as a hit to me.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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Don't know. I'm not sure briefly appearing on the charts in the 60's or 70's really makes a U2 song a hit, relatively speaking. Almost any U2 song is going to do that just because it's U2.

I do think these days it's about more than just chart position. But as a general rule of thumb, if you have to question whether a song is a hit, it's probably not. It's one of those things you know it when you see it.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:06 AM   #4
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Yeah, i think what we might really mean here is, what would constitute a commercially successful song for the band. A "hit" is a relative term. I looked at that radio play link that was posted on the other thread, and I haven't heard of most songs on that chart. Tons of songs at the top that are country or hip hop, that are getting a ton of play, but just don't hear them on the stations i listen to.
A big success for those artists? yes. A hit? sure, maybe in that genre, but not like a "hit" in terms that it is part of the main public consciousness.

Just took peek at Lady Gaga, and she had 4 songs that charted between 39 and 76 that I've never heard.
That's why i looked at other rock artists that have been around for a while. It's pretty relative in U2's case.
I think a "hit" that is well known by the general public is totally out of the cards, but a commercially successful song that hits 60 or 70, tops several genre specific charts is doable.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick66 View Post
I do think these days it's about more than just chart position. But as a general rule of thumb, if you have to question whether a song is a hit, it's probably not. It's one of those things you know it when you see it.
One way I look at it... is this a song that if I asked random friends and family about, would they know it? Or at least heard of it in more than a generic sense?

Chart placement does help, especially if it's one that's at least a bit mainstream (Hot 100, Modern Rock, etc.). But even with that, you can only tell so much. It's one thing to actually chart and another to capture the pop culture zeitgeist, so to speak. And a lot of it is going to actually come down the person who's measuring it.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:19 PM   #6
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The bar is right about here:

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Old 09-25-2017, 06:49 PM   #7
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Top 40 in the hot 100 is typically classified as a hit.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:24 PM   #8
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Look at The Revivalist's "Wish I Knew You".

#1 on Triple A radio in 2016, has been in continuous heavy rotation since (roughly ~300 spins/week and audience of 760,000).
#1 on Alternative radio in early 2017, still #6, set a record for most plays a song has ever received in the format in a single week (3,488)
#40 on Active Rock
#14 on Hot AC as we speak.
Being pushed to Top 40 radio right now, with limited success (currently #48 on the CHR/Pop charts).

Seems like a massive crossover hit right? Except it's stalled at #84 on the Hot 100, in the mid-70s on the iTunes chart, and very lacking in streams. Shockingly from all of this heavy radio play and hype has resulted in only 15 million total youtube views in an era where Taylor Swift's new video has been out for less than a month a month and scored 500,000,000.


By comparison, in America anyway, both commercially released versions of The Best Thing have fallen completely off of the iTunes chart since last week (having peaked early on and only steadily declined since the initial release), didn't even come close to making the Spotify chart at any point, have gotten 3 million views since release (with roughly a million views coming in that 48 hours and then tapering off). 500k for the Kygo remix as well. As far as radio play goes, current stats have them at #42 on Active Rock, #31 on Hot AC, #24 on Alternative, and #7 on Triple A. No sign of the Kygo remix doing anything at all.

The music video is yet to be released, but I don't see it changing things too much.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstreets92 View Post
Look at The Revivalist's "Wish I Knew You".

#1 on Triple A radio in 2016, has been in continuous heavy rotation since (roughly ~300 spins/week and audience of 760,000).
#1 on Alternative radio in early 2017, still #6, set a record for most plays a song has ever received in the format in a single week (3,488)
#40 on Active Rock
#14 on Hot AC as we speak.
Being pushed to Top 40 radio right now, with limited success (currently #48 on the CHR/Pop charts).

Seems like a massive crossover hit right? Except it's stalled at #84 on the Hot 100, in the mid-70s on the iTunes chart, and very lacking in streams. Shockingly from all of this heavy radio play and hype has resulted in only 15 million total youtube views in an era where Taylor Swift's new video has been out for less than a month a month and scored 500,000,000.


By comparison, in America anyway, both commercially released versions of The Best Thing have fallen completely off of the iTunes chart since last week (having peaked early on and only steadily declined since the initial release), didn't even come close to making the Spotify chart at any point, have gotten 3 million views since release (with roughly a million views coming in that 48 hours and then tapering off). 500k for the Kygo remix as well. As far as radio play goes, current stats have them at #42 on Active Rock, #31 on Hot AC, #24 on Alternative, and #7 on Triple A. No sign of the Kygo remix doing anything at all.

The music video is yet to be released, but I don't see it changing things too much.
This is such a great post to put some perspective in the current state of the music industry. You can have a song that you hear all the time on your favorite couple stations. But it doesn't really mean that its a hit by any means.
Take Weezer for example. They came back strong with "Feels Like Summer". I hear it every hour or two on my alt station. It Hit number 2 on Alternative, number 4 on rock airplay, and number 12 on Hot Rock Songs.... But never touched the Hot 100.
But I'm guessing they see that song as a big success for them.

I think U2 needs to focus their efforts a bit. Don't go looking for a pop hit so much, as delivering to markets that welcome you. Go for Adult Alt, AC, Hot AC, and don't even dream about the Hot100 anymore.
They could have a song that is quite popular and gets a lot of people listening on certain formats.
LIke the Foo Fighters. They are doing great on the rock charts across the board, they got a number 1 album, will sell well on tour. Thats a success for them. They will never be on the Hot 100 again either. That's just the way it goes.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:57 PM   #10
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Beautiful Day - which has no CD release - only charted as high as it did once it hit and charted high on the AC charts. YTBT sounds like a perfect AC song. It took months before BD finally hit the AC charts, so that may also happen here. U2 just might have to keep playing and promoting this song (like appearances on SNL or other shows).

As far as hit, generally the Top 100 is considered at least a mild hit, with Top 40 being a big hit. However, would anyone consider GOYB, which did reach the top 40, a hit? So even reaching the Top 40 may not be enough. All I Want Is You never reached the Top 40 and, if I recall, around 81 in the Top 100 - yet clearly that is a far bigger "hit" for U2 than GOYB was (or ever will be).

Therefore, I think hit is how long the song lingers.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorwho View Post
Beautiful Day - which has no CD release - only charted as high as it did once it hit and charted high on the AC charts. YTBT sounds like a perfect AC song. It took months before BD finally hit the AC charts, so that may also happen here. U2 just might have to keep playing and promoting this song (like appearances on SNL or other shows).

As far as hit, generally the Top 100 is considered at least a mild hit, with Top 40 being a big hit. However, would anyone consider GOYB, which did reach the top 40, a hit? So even reaching the Top 40 may not be enough. All I Want Is You never reached the Top 40 and, if I recall, around 81 in the Top 100 - yet clearly that is a far bigger "hit" for U2 than GOYB was (or ever will be).

Therefore, I think hit is how long the song lingers.


Doctorwho, welcome back! It's been a long time since I've seen you post around here.

I do agree that this song is built for AC radio and I think it might be a slow burn on that format but might end up getting traction for this single as a whole!
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