Fans can join the #YummyDanceChallenge, play a Pac Man “Yummy” videogame, virtually attend streaming parties, watch an animated “Yummy” video and an official “Yummy” video, buy a signed CD and cassette versions of “Yummy” for 24 hours or purchase five limited edition 7-inch vinyls on Bieber’s website. Fellow pop titans BTS and Billie Eilish supported the record on social media. Bieber recently joined TikTok — the same social media app that helped Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” block Bieber from having the Number One song on Spotify. All of these tactics, no matter how avaricious, are part of the rollout plan for most pop musicians seeking to positively adapt their sliding scale of relevance in the streaming age.
Justin platicando con una fan mexicana en el live de su Instagram. pic.twitter.com/ISf7VC3mSA
— Justin Bieber México (@iBeliebersMx) January 8, 2020
But somewhere along the way, Bieber’s marketing strategy for “Yummy” took an incoherent turn. “I’m doing everything I can on my end,” he told fans. “Go stream ‘Yummy’ please, ’cause I really want this fricking spot.” There are currently 13 photos of random babies on Bieber’s Instagram with random captions of “#Yummy.” In another bizarre Instagram Live video, Bieber repeatedly asks a gushing fan in English and broken Spanish if she’s bought “Yummy” on iTunes yet. But the bulk of the ire against the singer is coming from an alleged repost of a Justin Bieber Instagram fan account entitled, “How To Get Yummy to #1” in three easy steps:
“1. Create a playlist with “Yummy” on repeat and stream it. Don’t mute it! Play at low volume. Let it play while you sleep. If you are not from the U.S. you can download a VNP app. Set the VPN to US and then create a Spotify account.
2. Buy the song on iTunes. Buy the song multiple times on Justin’s website.
3. Don’t repost the video, link it instead. Stream on YouTube: log out of your account, don’t skip ads, don’t mute it, don’t repeat: refresh!!”
In now deleted Instagram post, Justin Bieber posted guide for fans on how his single “Yummy” could get to #1. pic.twitter.com/EsAoU74GM1
— Pop Radar (@ThePopRadar) January 10, 2020
In the past, artists like Chris Brown have shared similar instructions on how to boost the sales of whatever product an artist is marketing at the time. Harry Styles fans are also known for using VPNs to help their idol. In 2017, Pop Crave’s Will Cosme explained the genesis of famous musicians using the size of their fanbase to game numbers. “[Directioners] were the first fandom to use radio requests as a weapon,” Cosme said. “Other fandoms began using the same strategies — Katy fans, Nicki fans, Taylor Swift fans. It wasn’t as well-organized though.”
If you’re trying to get a new song to the top of any charts, Bieber should be selling classes.