Olivia Rodrigo’s Streams Rise Following Guts World Tour Kickoff — And Opener Chappell Roan’s Are Up Even More

Welcome to Billboard Pro‘s Trending Up newsletter, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.

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This week: Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts World Tour kickoff leads to gains for both her and her opening act, the new Tyler Perry movie spurs streams for sexy R&B jams new and old, the latest viral country star takes off on TikTok and much more.

Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts Tour Kickoff Boosts Her Streaming Numbers — and Chappell Roan’s, Too

Last Friday (Feb. 23), Olivia Rodrigo set forth on her second career headlining tour, and first arena run, as the Guts World Tour kicked off at the Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs. Fans inside the arena and soaking up the online clips pored over her setlist choices, discussed her visual stylings and wardrobe changes, and bemoaned her lack of cover songs a la the Sour Tour (bring back some Veruca Salt, Olivia!); they also, naturally, listened to a whole lot of Rodrigo’s music, as well as that of the rising pop favorite opening on the first leg of the trek.

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Last weekend (Feb. 24-25), Rodrigo’s catalog earned 19.62 million official U.S. on-demand streams — up 24% from the prior weekend before the tour launch (15.78 million during Feb. 17-18), according to Luminate. Guts standouts “Bad Idea Right?” (which opened Rodrigo’s show) and “Get Him Back!” (which closed it out) enjoyed some of the biggest individual upticks, with “Idea” up 27% to 1.23 million streams last weekend and “Back” up 29% to 1.21 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, Chappell Roan, the innovative art-pop auteur opening for Rodrigo across North America over the next month, also saw increased interest in her music, as previously unfamiliar Rodrigo fans watched Roan take the arena stage. The 26-year-old’s streaming catalog enjoyed a 32% bump during the first weekend of the tour, from 941,000 streams during Feb. 17-18 to 1.24 million streams during Feb. 24-25. Opening acts don’t always experience such notable streaming gains as fans are filing in to their arena seats, but on a tour as in-demand as the Guts run, everybody wins. – JASON LIPSHUTZ


Tyler Perry’s Kelly Rowland-Led ‘Mea Culpa’ Spurs Streaming Boosts for Sultry Soundtrack Songs

Tyler Perry’s latest film, Mea Culpa, which stars Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper Kelly Rowland and award-winning actor Trevante Rhodes, hit Netflix last weekend (Feb. 23) amid a flurry of online chatter. Written and directed by Perry, the film follows Rowland as a criminal defense attorney tasked with representing a man accused of killing his girlfriend. With a soundtrack that plays on the film’s dark, sultry overtones, it’s no surprise that several Mea Culpa syncs have experienced significant streaming boosts.

In terms of the classics, a pair of all-time covers — Issac Hayes’ “Walk on By” and Isley Brothers‘ “Hello, It’s Me” — both posted strong gains. Hayes’ track jumped 113% in streaming activity, from 30,000 on-demand U.S. audio steams during the weekend preceding Mea Culpa’s release (Feb. 17-19) to over 61,000 streams in the weekend following the film’s debut (Feb. 24-26), according to Luminate. Similarly, “Hello, It’s Me” collected 25,000 streams during Feb. 17-19, marking a 70% increase to 44,000 streams during Feb. 24-26.

As for the contemporary tunes, tracks from Sabrina Claudio and BANKS both earned eye-popping gains. During Feb 17-19, Claudio’s “Unravel Me” — which dropped back in 2017 – garnered 51,000 official on-demand U.S. streams. That figure jumped by 105% to 105,000 streams during Feb. 24-26. BANKS’ “And I Drove You Crazy” – a cut from the deluxe edition of Goddess, her acclaimed 2014 debut LP – posted an eye-popping 1,984% increase from 2,500 official on-demand U.S. streams (Feb. 17-19) to over 50,000 streams the following weekend (Feb 24-26).

Even if audiences and critics are less than enamored with Perry’s latest offering, they’re still running to stream the songs they encountered during their viewing experience. – KYLE DENIS


Tucker Wetmore Turns “Wine Into Whiskey” Into Viral Breakout

Morgan Wallen was one of the first country stars to successfully make TikTok teasing a major part of his marketing strategy, so it’s only fitting that his followers should experience their breakout moments the same way. After Bailey Zimmerman followed the Wallen game plan and sound to crossover success in 2022 and 2023, now comes Tucker Wetmore, a Washington-born singer-songwriter who also borrows a heavy dose of Wallen’s twang, trappy production and proclivity for alcohol-soaked laments – and now also may poised for similar virality.

Wetmore had been teasing new single “Wine Into Whiskey” since a December TikTok clip where he offered, “I’m a little hungover, but I just got this demo back for this song, and it goes…. so hard,” before lip syncing along to the song’s moody first minute. Nearly five million plays of the clip later, Wetmore finally released the song independently to DSPs and online retailers last Friday (Feb. 23). The response was immediate: “Wine” has already racked up over three million on-demand U.S. audio streams from Friday to Monday (Feb. 26), along with over 5,000 in digital song sales, according to Luminate – both eye-popping numbers for an artist with little established chart history.

The early consumption has “Wine Into Whiskey” poised to make a Hot 100 debut next week – and then it seems like only a matter of time before country radio wraps its arms around it. In other words, expect to hear a lot more of Wetmore in the months to come. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER


GC Eternal’s “Back It Up and Dump It” Sustains Sizable Streaming Gains Following A Pair of Viral TikTok Trends

The impact of stomp-and-shake cheerleading on TikTok dance trends has been overlooked for some time now, but the sustained virality of GC Eternal’s “Back It Up and Dump It” is pushing the Black cheerleading style to center stage.

According to Luminate, “Back It Up and Dump It (Dump Truck)” — which features Kinfolk Thugs – logged over 650,000 official on-demand U.S. streams during the week of Feb. 16-22. That’s a whopping 129% increase from around 435,000 streams two weeks prior (Feb. 2-8). Several dance trends have contributed to the song’s virality over the past few months. In fact, for the past two weeks the song has increased by over 50% in streaming activity.

Last fall, a two-step-rooted dance trend picked up steam on the platform to the first chorus of the song. More recently, a stomp and shake routine choreographed to the very beginning of the song has taken TikTok by storm. Created by TikTok user @mad0bout.miaaaaaaa, the latest “Dump Truck” dance has helped the song amass just under 300,000 posts on the platform. Mia’s routine – which has earned 1.7 million views and nearly 270,000 likes – errs more on the side of traditional stomp and shake than the current wave of Jersey-inspired TikTok dance combinations.

Although GC Eternal’s track is over ten years old, it’s still connecting with contemporary audiences through a combination of its catchy hook, groovy production, and focus on one of TikTok’s favorite pastimes: admiring a nice backside. – KD


Q&A: Todd Sherman, Director of Product Management at YouTube Shorts, on What’s Trending Up in His World

Can you walk us through the genesis of YouTube Shorts and how it’s become such a primary focus for the company?

In the early days of short-form video you could get the sense from Vine, Dubsmash and Musically that this format empowered new creators and also enabled viewers to watch video at times they might not have before. So to meet the needs of today’s increasingly mobile viewer and creator, four years ago we introduced YouTube Shorts, which make it easier to watch and create short-form content on the platform. And in just a few short years, we’ve seen creators and artists use them to drive fandom, subscribers and express themselves in new ways.

Today, YouTube Shorts is averaging over 70 billion daily views and the number of channels uploading Shorts has grown 50% year over year. That’s tremendous growth and something we’re really proud of. But we still consider ourselves at the beginning of this journey and we’re taking our learnings from nearly 20 years in the video business to make sure we do this right by our creators, artists, advertisers and fans.

You can now use Shorts to remix music videos. What have you noticed thus far with how users are playing around with these new tools?

It’s still early days, but one thing I’ve noticed is the sheer breadth of our music video library on YouTube for fans to play with and enjoy. Short-form video is often inherently creative, collaborative and interactive, so we knew the ability to Remix a Music Video would help fans unlock even more ways to connect and get creative with their favorite artists and their music on YouTube. Remix is available across all YouTube videos, not only Shorts. For the first time, fans can discover deep catalog cuts from their favorite artists and relive those moments by remixing them as their own.

Which songs/artists that are trending on Shorts are most intriguing to you?

So a few weeks back Karol G dropped her new single ”Contigo” — which of course, in itself is incredible — but she took it a step further and delivered her fans a special experience through Shorts and across the platform. The night started with the music video premiere, was followed by a Premium afterparty and then the first #KarolGContigo Short where she encouraged fans to celebrate and show LOVE. In the Short, participants show themselves alone, then as soon as “Contigo”’ sounds in the background, someone or something they love appears with them. We are really excited about the momentum we are seeing so far!

Now, I think what’s special here, and unique to YouTube, is that very real connection that lives on our platform between artists and their fans. This Short gave a way for her global fanbase to not only enjoy her new music video but also create something of their own to be part of her world and her moment. We always strive to build products that help people be their most creative so it’s amazing to see incredible artists like Karol G use them to connect with their fans.

Obviously YouTube is benefiting from having more licensed music available to use in clips, but what do you think is Shorts’ greatest strength as opposed to other short-form video platforms?

To me, the opportunity for artists on YouTube is clear: it’s the interconnected experience between all of the different video formats that allow them to connect with fans in bold new ways. This interplay between Shorts, longform, music and live immerses fans in the vibrant world across all formats. We want to bring fans along a journey of discovering music through Shorts, connecting them deeply to the artists’ music videos, official albums, and then turning them into engaged fans of your artists who lean in and participate. We’re still learning how best to deliver for artists and the industry, and this is an important area of focus for us this year, and we’re doing it in close collaboration with our partners.

What can we expect from the evolution of Shorts over the course of 2024?

We’re focused on making Shorts even more accessible and enjoyable to artists and their fans. YouTube is a place where people can come to build a business but also have fun, be creative, share and connect. So that means continuing to invest in creation tools that make that experience even more seamless, simple and delightful. We’re continuing to improve our recommendations including growing music trends that inspire people to participate. And when people are watching Shorts with music, we want to make it easier for them to connect with the song and artist they love.

We’re also working together with our partners to experiment with AI and its potential to make the creative process easier and more innovative. Overall we hope this work helps artists build a fanbase that feels connected to them in incredible ways. We believe that YouTube really is the best place for every music fan, and we want Shorts to be a part of that. – JL

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