Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Reinventing the Music Chart

IBM and the BBC have teamed up to reinvent the music chart. As you may or may not know, CD singles sales are down and album sales are following them, which has lead some companies (such as ARIA in Australia) to start looking at iTunes and other download services to create a Digital Chart.

The Beeb has taken this one step further and trawls many major music websites to find out what people are really interested in. The service, called Sound Index
"Crawls some of the biggest music sites on the Internet - Bebo, MySpace, Last.FM, iTunes, Google and YouTube - to find out what people are writing about, listening to, watching, downloading and logging on to. It then counts and analyses this data to make an instant list of the most popular 1000 artists and tracks on the web. The more blog mentions, comments, plays, downloads and profile views an artist or track has, the higher up the Sound Index they are."

Essentially it starts off as a basic top 1000 artists or songs chart, which is interesting enough on its own, however they have taken it one step further and allowed users to create their own lists. So if you want to know what 20-30 year-old males are listening to, you can. If you want to know what is popular among 15-20 year-old girls who listen to Emo music via Myspace, you can.

This makes for a fantastic service in that you can chop the data pretty much any way you like, and it makes for a great research tool to find out what your audience are not only listening to, but interested in. It also makes for a great gift guide :p

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