It's the battle of old school versus new school this week as Justin Timberlake takes on Drake for the number one song on Billboard's Hot 100. While Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling!" takes a commanding lead in sales, Drake's "One Dance" is tops by far in total streams.
It's currently a tight race overall, and it will be interesting to see who will win out. While Drake has been ruling the charts recently, Timberlake roared back this week with his first single in several years, the theme from the upcoming "Trolls" movie, co-written and produced by hit maker extraordinaire Max Martin, who has worked with some of the biggest pop music stars on the planet, including Britney Spears, Pink, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, One Direction and The Weeknd just to name a few. Martin is also the writer and producer of most of Timberlake's former boyband NSYNC's greatest hits, including "Tearin' Up My Heart," "Bye Bye Bye" and "It's Gonna Be Me."
The superstar combo has resulted in a big new hit with "Can't Stop The Feeling!" which has racked up a projected 330,000 or so in download sales for the week, a massive amount by any measure. The song is also big on radio and streaming.
Still, the streaming numbers for "Can't Stop The Feeling" come nowhere near those for Drake's "One Dance," which currently tops the single chart this week. So far, Drake's song creams Timberlake's in streaming, 30 million to 10 million. Drake's album "Views" from which "One Dance" originates broke records for first week streams upon its release last week. Drake also leads Timberlake in radio airplay, 60 to 50 million.
The battle for next week's number one therefore is a fascinating competition of old school versus new school. Timberlake represents an older generation of artist, and his fans are clearly more likely to access his music via purchasing direct downloads of songs, whereas Drake and his fan's Millennial status leads to significantly more streams of his tracks.
Even the sound of the two songs represents the gap, with Timberlake's sunny funk disco track displaying retro flavors, while Drake's minimalist R&B hip hop song is very much the sound of 2016. Who will win out? The Hot 100 will be reported on Monday, and that's when we'll see if veteran Justin can topple rookie Drake from his first ever number one chart placing as a solo artist.