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MAYBE, JUST MAYBE: THE END OF SUMMER

This appears to be the beginning of an exciting transitional week, as Labor Day approaches and the jockeying for Grammy nominations begins.

Also, we’re seeing radio fully embrace super K-Pop group BTS; Apple stock splitting 4:1 and exploding; Republic launching its campaign for newly acquired Morgan Wallen, Harry Styles finally getting some competition for the #1 slot at Mediabase Top 40, red-hot streaming artist 24kGoldn exploding everywhere; The Weeknd’s mighty afterglow following a dominant VMA performance, which could be a foreshadowing of things to come; and the dawning realization that Conan Gray is something truly special.

Where to start?

Top 40 radio has long resisted even the most successful boy bands, for reasons I will never understand. They fought the Jonas Brothers, NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys and One Direction, and they’ve been fighting BTS for the past two years. Eventually, as these groups dominated the concert space for years, radio has given in. Why the fight? The argument has typically been that the acts are too teen, and that isn’t really their audience. To which I say: Ha. Tweens and young teen girls have always been the actives guiding the passives and leading the family buying cycle. Now, unsurprisingly radio programmers have caught the concept of BTS. Yes, it took an all-English single, an event promotion strategy and time for the breakthrough to occur. But now the case is beyond obvious: “Dynamite” is a major smash and radio is welcoming the song as it rockets through the system.

Ok, that’s done. What next?

Conan Gray is a gigantic streaming act, yet he has been put into the same box that Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes had to break out of. Just as they did with boy bands, radio has resisted on the grounds that Gray’s appeal is ‘too young.” You remember when Bieber filled parking lots, or when Mendes racked up a staggering Vine count? These clear indicators of huge, highly engaged audiences got the same cold shoulder from radio. They ultimately came around with Biebs and Shawn, and they’re just about to surrender to Conan. Keep your eyes on his “Heather” as it charts at Hot AC and begins its breakthrough at Top 40. remember that we told you he is going to be a giant act. We can sometimes come off as real geniuses, especially when we pay attention to the obvious.

Finally, let’s look at the top of the Mediabase Classic Realtime chart to get a quick snapshot of the action atop the Top 40 chart. Harry Styles’ infectious “Watermelon Sugar” is still leading by a significant enough margin to cruise into the holiday retaining the #1 position. Team Capitol, for its part, has maneuvered Lewis Capaldi’s latest—another ballad, we reiterate—to #2 as it becomes the first real challenger for the top spot. Jawsh 685 enters the Top Five and continues to make a strong push, right ahead of DaBaby’s “Rockstar.”

Meanwhile, the biggest hits of the past months are finally starting to lose ground. Look for Gabby Barrett to grab the first opening to enter the top ten and for JP Saxe to battle all week to secure a well-earned Top 10 berth.

Now I’m preparing to spend the day hitting refresh on my iPhone so I can watch the Apple valuation move to $2.25 trillion. Happy September, everyone.

MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
MOBILE PHONES,
IMMOBILE HUMANS
Lenny Beer needs to cut down on his screen time. (9/30a)
RAINMAKERS: MICHAEL RAPINO, NATION BUILDER
A tease for the upcoming edition, eh? (9/30a)
THE DEATH OF PRINT JOURNALISM: GRAMMY PREVIEW EDITION
Gimme an "H." Gimme another "H." (9/30a)
NEAR TRUTHS: PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP—INTO YOUR LIFE
IT WILL CREEP*
A high-revving column (9/30a)
YOUR TOP 20 IS
FULLY LOADED
Prediction: There will be 20 albums in the Top 20 this week. (9/30a)
GRAMMY TALK
We're full of it.
AFRICAN POP
Getting global with it.
IT'S PRETTY SMOKY
And this time it's not from our bong.
WHAT COMES AFTER TIKTOK?
Shorter videos! Weirder trends!
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