Hit ParadeSlate

The Bridge: Moguls Can’t Be Choosers

Billboard writer/editor Andrew Unterberger says in the TikTok era, labels and even artists follow the wisdom of crowds.

[This edition of my Hit Parade—“The Bridge” bonus series is available to Slate Plus subscribers only. A link to the episode show page is below. To sign up for Plus—and tell Slate that Hit Parade sent you!—visit slate.com/hitparadeplus.]

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy is joined by Andrew Unterberger, Billboard’s digital deputy editor, for a discussion of second-chance hits and how modern-day fans tell the artists and labels what the hits are. Sometimes, the music business’s best-laid plans—say, the promotional campaign for a new album by The Weeknd—are upended by TikTok users gravitating to a song from an old Weeknd album instead. It makes promotion harder, but makes the charts more fun.

Next, Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, gives him a chance to turn the tables with a question of his own, and previews next month’s full-length episode. Slate Plus members can sign up for a chance to be our trivia contestant on a future episode here.

Podcast production by Kevin Bendis.