Billboard Japan Releases Its Year End Charts for 2016

The year is coming to a close, so the end of the year charts and rankings are upon us. Billboard Japan recently released its year end charts for 2016, measuring the period from 11/23/15 – 11/27/16. AKB48’s “Tsubasa wa Iranai” topped the Hot 100 chart, while Utada Hikaru’s “Fantôme” topped the Hot Albums chart. AKB48’s “Tsubasa wa Iranai” also topped the Top Singles Sales chart, while RADWIMPS’ “Zen Zen Zense” topped the Radio Songs chart. RADWIMPS’ “Zen Zen Zense” topped the Hot Animation chart. Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” topped the Hot Overseas chart. Arashi’s “Are You Happy” topped the Top Album Sales chart. The compilation album “0 Sai Kara no Ikuno Classic” topped the Top Classical Album Sales chart, while Hiromi Uehara The Trio Project’s “SPARK” topped the Top Jazz Album Sales chart.

Note: I provided explanations for the Hot 100 chart and the Hot Albums chart because they are both combined charts. The other charts are pretty straight forward.


Hot 100

This chart combines physical single sales tracked by SoundScan Japan, digital download sales tracked by Nielsen Music, radio airplay monitored by Plantech, amount of desktop lookups on computers tracked by Gracenote Media, Twitter mentions of artist names and song titles provided by NTT data, YouTube views gathered by Nielsen Music (including both official artist videos as well as user-generated clips that include original song audio), and streaming counts (predicted by lyrics displayed on PetitLyrics, a service run by SyncPower providing real-time scrolling lyrics).

1. AKB48 – Tsubasa wa Iranai

2. RADWIMPS – Zen Zen Zense

3. Hoshino Gen – Koi

4. AKB48 – Kimi wa Melody

5. SMAP – Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana

6. Piko-Taro – Pen Pineapple Apple Pen


8. AKB48 – High Tension

9. Hoshino Gen – SUN

10. Keyakizaka46 – Silent Majority

AKB48’s “Tsubasa wa Iranai” received 178,788.50 to top this chart, compared to RADWIMPS’ “Zen Zen Zense”‘s score of 176,963.20 and Hoshino Gen’s “Koi”‘s score of 172,332.81. AKB48 got the score it got mainly due to the single’s 2,507,403 physical units sold. For instance, it ranked 49th in desktop lookups and 89th in Twitter mentions. On the other hand, “Zen Zen Zense” had no physical single release, but ranked 1st in radio airplay, 1st in downloads, 2nd in Twitter mentions, and 2nd in YouTube plays. “Koi” ranked 2nd in radio airplay, 37th in physical singles sales, 3rd in downloads, 4th in streaming, 2nd in desktop lookups, and 5th in YouTube plays. When one looks at the Hot 100 chart, it can be seen that there are more factors that go into getting a hit song than just physical single sales.

As far as chart components go, Arashi’s “I seek” was 1st in in desktop lookups, SMAP’s “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana” was 1st in Twitter mentions, and Piko-Taro’s “Pen Pineapple Apple Pen” was 1st in in YouTube plays. To again show that physical single sales are not everything, “I seek” sold 800,000 physical copies, but it’s not in the Hot 100 top 10 for the year, while “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana”‘s 1,958,709 Twitter mentions and “Pen Pineapple Apple Pen”‘s 142,142,756 YouTube plays did land them in the top 10.


Hot Albums

This chart combines physical album sales tracked by SoundScan Japan,  digital download sales tracked by Nielsen Music, and the amount of desktop lookups on computers tracked by Gracenote Media.

1. Utada Hikaru – Fantôme

2. RADWIMPS – Kimi no Na wa.

3. Sandaime J Soul Brothers – THE JSB LEGACY

4. Arashi – Are You Happy?

5. back number – Chandelier

6. Hoshino Gen – YELLOW DANCER

7. Nishino Kana – Just LOVE

8. Oda Kazumasa – Ano Hi Ano Toki

9. Various Artists – HiGH & LOW ORIGINAL BEST ALBUM

10. BUMP OF CHICKEN – Butterflies

How did Utada Hikaru’s “Fantôme” top the year end chart even though it was 3rd in physical album sales? Due to the fact that it was 1st in downloads and 4th in desktop lookups. And how did RADWIMPS’s “Kimi no Na wa.” end up in 2nd even though it was 7th in physical album sales? Because it was 2nd in downloads and 3rd in desktop lookups. But another thing both of these albums had over albums that sold more physically is that they had much more longevity, staying at #1 and/or in the top 10 for longer periods of time.


Top Single Sales

1. AKB48 – Tsubasa wa Iranai

2. AKB48 – Kimi wa Melody

3. AKB48 – High Tension

4. AKB48 – LOVE TRIP / Shiawase wo Wakenasai

5. Nogizaka46 – Sayonara no Imi

6. Nogizaka46 – Hadashi de Summer

7. Arashi – I seek / Daylight

8. Nogizaka46 – Harujion ga Saku Koro

9. Arashi – Fukkatsu LOVE

10. NMB48 – Chicken LINE


Radio Songs

1. RADWIMPS – Zen Zen Zense

2. Hoshino Gen – Koi

3. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling!

4. Utada Hikaru – Michi

5. DNCE – Cake By The Ocean

6. Perfume – FLASH

7. Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime

8. Hoshino Gen – SUN

9. Kygo – Stay feat. Maty Noyes

10. Utada Hikaru – Hanataba wo Kimi ni

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