Music Updates

AKB48 Debuts at No. 1, back number at No. 2 on Japan Hot 100

back number, whose “Suiheisen” continues to hold at No. 4 this week, launches another single called “Kiiro” (“Yellow”) at No. 2. The theme of a popular reality dating series on ABEMA TV, the new track was promoted in succession mostly online before its digital release on Sept. 27; the band streamed its first live performance of the song the day before on TikTok, then premiered the accompanying music video on its YouTube channel to coincide with the song’s release, and went on the drop the physical version two days later on Sept. 29.

The song performed well in various metrics as a result, coming in at No. 4 for sales with 26,516 copies sold, No. 2 for downloads (15,559 units), No. 13 for streaming (5,157,173 streams), and No. 9 for video views (1,326,534 views). The new track’s debut also kept “Suiheisen” from slipping from the top position in streaming, where it holds for the fifth straight week.

“Rocketeer” by INI (pronounced “eye-’n-eye”) soars 92-5 this week, logging the first top 5 entry for the brand-new boy band. The audition-born group from Produce 101 Japan season 2 racked up around 3,261,000 streams in the first three days of the chart week and came in at No. 2 for the metric after totaling 7,649,453 first-week streams. The 11-member band’s debut single also ruled video and Twitter.

As these examples show, the number of hit songs born from audition and reality TV show tie-ins is increasing in the J-pop market, and the performance of these tracks on the charts could determine whether these routes will take root as generators of long-running hits in the future.

The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, audio streams, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! video views, Gracenote look-ups and karaoke data.

The full Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart, dated Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, is available here.

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