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“Despacito” Expected To Tie Hot 100 Record; Will Taylor Swift Prevent A New One?

“Despacito” will likely claim a 16th week at #1. It may have trouble securing a 17th week.

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee at the Latin Billboards | Telemundo

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito (featuring Justin Bieber)” is currently enjoying its 15th week at #1 on the Hot 100.

It has a clear path to a 16th week.

Justin Bieber & BloodPop’s “Friends” is not the threat some anticipated. Its sales and radio figures are not particularly huge, no music video was released, and the audio was uploaded to BloodPop’s YouTube channel (rather than Bieber’s). It is not even expected to reach the Top 10 on this coming week’s Hot 100.

DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” and Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow,” this past week’s #2 and #3 song, are comfortably behind “Despacito” in overall activity. They are not expected to close the gap by the end of tracking.

Should it indeed score a 16th week at #1, “Despacito” will tie the all-time Hot 100 record held by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day.”

Its ability to break that record, however, is in serious jeopardy.

Taylor Swift just confirmed that her new single will be released late Thursday night, which means it will be available for the entirety of the next Hot 100 tracking week (sales and streaming run Friday-Thursday, radio runs Monday-Sunday).

There are some key questions regarding the release, all of which could impact its opening week consumption activity: Will Swift maintain her commitment to a mainstream pop sound? Will she release the song on all streaming services? Will the music video also be released in the next few days? What exposure, if any, will it receive during Sunday’s Video Music Awards?

Until those questions are answered, it is difficult to guarantee a trip to #1 — and thus an end to the “Despacito” reign.

What can be comfortably assumed, however, is that the new Taylor Swift song will be a more viable threat than “Friends.” It will sell better, it will receive more attention from radio and the media, and some of the factors that limited “Friends” (such as audio being posted on the less famous artist’s channel) will not be in play.

— Granted, the new Taylor Swift song is hardly the only threat moving forward. Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” continues to gain momentum, and a performance during Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards pre-show will only accelerate that growth.

Even if it cannot challenge “Despacito” or the Taylor Swift song for #1 next week, it may very well be a contender in subsequent weeks.

If so, it could prevent “Despacito” from retaking the crown (assuming it cedes the throne to Swift’s song next week) and thus prevent the song from scoring a 17th total week at #1.

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