Britney Spears’ Single Continues to Break Records

Britney Spears’ new single “Hold It Against Me” has dominated the airwaves like no song in its first week before. It debuted at #16 on Billboard’s Pop Song chart, which monitors the amount of radio plays, with 4,071 spins, the most ever by a debuting title in the chart’s 18- year history.

The track is now tied for second based on ranking with Madonna’s “Ray of Light,” which also entered the chart at #16 on March 7, 1998. Only Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover” launched higher, at #12, the week of August 14, 1993. But again, neither of these achieved Britney’s number of plays. Consequently, her track is the most-played song in its first week of this millennium.

All 130 stations tied to Billboard’s chart played the song, translating to an estimated 36.4 million listeners, the 10th-highest mainstream top 40 total.

Modesto, California station KHOP led the nation with 104 plays last week. Reuters spoke with KHOP’s program director MoJoe Roberts for his take on Britney’s runaway success:

“Over the last decade, Britney Spears has had her ups and downs. But, every time she drops new music, it is an event for the format. We often tend to wait for audience research to come back strong to power up certain hits. This, however, is one of those rare tracks, like Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ or P!nk’s ‘Raise Your Glass,’ that I put right into power rotation after one listen.”

Roberts added, “Audience reaction to her new single has been nothing short of amazing. This is another pure pop smash from Ms. Spears.”

At this point, it’s a foregone conclusion by analysts that the song will debut at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 based on sales, in which case it will be the 18th single ever to do so and the third in the last year, joining Eminem’s “Not Afraid” and Kesha’s “We R Who We R.”

Are you surprised that Britney’s new single caught on so quickly? Tell us in the comments section.