How Taylor Swift’s Apple Music Ads Helped Drake, Future, the Darkness and Jimmy Eat World
She’s lip-synced to “Jumpman,” “The Middle” and “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” How did they do on the charts as a result?
Taylor Swift’s ads for Apple Music have been touted as a peek into the pop star’s life, showing her lip syncing to songs as she tries (and fails) to work out on a treadmill, dances and does her makeup in her bathroom and rocks out in her living room. Her fans have responded, embracing both the new (Drake and Future’s 2015 hit “Jumpman”) and the old (Jimmy Eat World’s 2001 anthem “The Middle”; The Darkness’ 2003 breakout hit “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”), spurring each to big gains on the charts.
Since the commercial series premiered April 1 with Swift’s take on “Jumpman,” the minute-long spots have racked up 20 million global views on YouTube and sparked a large uptick in domestic streams and sales for each artist’s song.
For instance, after the “Jumpman” spot’s April 1 premiere, the song rebounded 32-23 on the Hot 100 chart dated April 23. That made it the week’s top Digital Gainer, up 194 percent in download sales, from 15,000 (in the tracking week ending March 31) to 44,000 (April 7), according to Nielsen Music. The track also vaulted 17 percent in streams, from 7.3 million U.S. clicks to 8.6 million. And it picked up 59,000 Shazam tags in April, showing a 35 percent leap in tags the week after it aired. (although it wasn’t eligible for Billboard & Clio Music’s Top Commercials chart, powered by Shazam, as songs recently in the Hot 100’s top 40 are excluded.)
But the Swift/Apple tag team was just getting started. For their second act, Swift queued up Jimmy Eat World’s hit “The Middle,” (No. 5 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 Alternative Songs in 2002) a track on her “Getting Ready to Go Out” playlist that, she says, she “used to listen to in middle school.” The tune’s bump was even larger than “Jumpman”: between the week before the ad’s April 18 debut and the week after, “The Middle” soared 298 percent in sales and 49 percent in U.S. streams (from 3,000 downloads sold to 12,000; from 614,000 clicks to 916,000) and led to a surprise appearance on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart at No. 16.
After its big month, “The Middle” also debuts at No. 6 on Billboard & Clio Music’s Top Commercials chart for April, grabbing 18,000 Shazam tags throughout the month. Notably, it boasted a 99 percent gain in tags in the week following the ad’s debut.
For the series’ third track, Swift stayed in a rock vein, churning out an inspired dance routine to The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” which hit No. 9 on the Alternative Songs chart in 2004. Although it’s a bit early to gauge the ad’s impact on the song (the spot premiered May 12, the last day of the sales and streaming tracking week for current charts, dated May 28), the track moved 1,000 downloads and was streamed 213,000 times in the U.S. in that span, increases of 151 and 6 percent, respectively. In the five-plus days since the commercial debuted, the track also spurred a 119 percent uptick in its overall Shazam tags.
The new ad will be eligible for the May edition of the Top Commercials chart, where it’ll look to do what the Jimmy Eat World spot could not: go to No. 1.