Looks like we’ve got a good old fashioned diva-off on our hands.
Thanks to some Internet shenanigans and the fickle finger of fate, two brand new singles from superstar divas are now for sale. Katy Perry’s “Roar” went on sale yesterday, and as of 12:01 this morning, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” is available on digital store shelves.
As expected, the two singles immediately shot to the top of the iTunes sales chart (as of this writing, “Roar” is in the top position, followed closely by “Applause”), and they will inevitably be neck and neck as the week goes on.
With those two juggernauts chugging forward, we’re looking at an unprecedented digital sales week. According to Billboard, it’s not out of the question for both songs to sell half a million copies this week, which would be the first time in digital sales history that two debut songs sold over 400,000 copies in the same week.
What impact will this have on the Hot 100? It’s likely that Perry’s “Roar” will be somewhere on the lower rungs of this week’s chart—while it won’t have any sales or streaming numbers to buoy it, “Roar” has received enough radio airplay to qualify for this week’s chart (radio airplay is computed through Monday and Tuesday of the week, for the chart that publishes on Thursday morning). But the real impact won’t be until next week, when both “Roar” and “Applause” will ride their big sales into inevitable top-five debuts. Could they end up at the top spot and dethrone Robin Thicke’s so-far unstoppable “Blurred Lines”?
It’s entirely possible. Earlier this year, Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” took the trajectory that “Roar” is likely to take: It scored enough early radio airplay to debut at number 84 during its release week, and then jumped to number four based on 315,000 downloads sold. Both “Roar” and “Applause” are on their way to bigger sales weeks, and since Perry already has a lyric video up on YouTube, she’ll get a ton of streams to her credit as well. A chart-topping debut is not outside of the realm of possibility, especially considering “Blurred Lines” weakens with every passing week.
The two women will also provide an excellent narrative going into the MTV Video Music Awards, since their Hot 100 positions will be decided only a few days before they both perform their new singles on this year’s show.
But what do you think? Which song will place higher on next week’s Billboard Hot 100—Katy Perry’s “Roar” or Lady Gaga’s “Applause”? And now that you’ve had time to digest both songs, which one is better? Let us know in the comments.