Taylor Swift’s “New Romantics” Sinking at Pop Radio; Still Up at AC, Slightly at Hot AC

Taylor Swift [Trae Patton/CBS]

Taylor Swift’s “New Romantics” suffered a slight week-to-week spin loss during the March 27-April 2 tracking period. It endured a significant one during the April 3-9 tracking week.

It is on track to experience another big decline this week.

The seventh and final “1989” single is thus far down another 38.1% in spins this week. It received 1,809 plays during the first four days of the April 10-16 tracking week and is currently #23 on Mediabase’s building chart.

At this point last week, “New Romantics” was #18 with 2,921 spins (and also down sharply on a week-to-week basis).

Given that the possibility of a rebound is remote, “New Romantics” will likely settle for the #16 pop peak it achieved for the March 20-26 tracking week. It is the second straight “1989” single to miss pop radio’s Top 10; previous single “Out Of The Woods” peaked at #13.

The album’s first five singles all went to #1.

As it is a deluxe edition track, “New Romantics” began its radio campaign as a “fresher” single than “Out Of The Woods.” It has not been posting spectacular sales numbers, but it has been performing better from a comparative standpoint (in terms of digital sales chart position).

On the other hand, listener callout scores have been weak by any standard, let alone the stellar reaction garnered by the earlier “1989” singles. Reductions in sample size and oddities in the recent Mediabase callout report create some question around the data, but there is definitely nothing to suggest radio listeners are loving “New Romantics.”

A similar situation was true for “Out Of The Woods.”

Both songs have received favorable reactions from critics; the soft listener reaction may speak to a gap between what critics like and what the market wants. It may also speak to audience fatigue for a Grammy-winning album that, while not yet 18 months old, has spawned seven singles and been everywhere since release.

Whatever the cause, it is all but certain “New Romantics” is done rising at pop.

— It does, however, appear on track for a new peak at adult contemporary radio. It is #23 on Mediabase’s building chart with a week-to-week spin of 24%. Prior to this week, its high mark was #24 on the AC chart.

It is also up slightly at hot adult contemporary radio (+2.9% on the building chart), but it is clearly losing momentum at that format as well. An ascent into the Top 5, let alone #1, no longer seems attainable; the question is whether it can surpass its #10 peak. It is currently #9 on the building chart, but Ellie Goulding’s “Something In The Way You Move” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece” are both close behind.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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