Sound Index app, determines the top 1,000 artists based on buzz across some of the web's largest music, video, and social networking sites.BBC Radio 1 announced a major update to their music charts about a week ago. Traditionally, mainstream music popularity has been measured by album sales or radio plays -- or a combination of the two. But with albums selling fewer copies through traditional channels and radio losing ground to online music, the Beeb decided to take a look at the web to determine artist popularity. Their new
Every six hours, Sound Index crawls Bebo, MySpace, Last.fm, iTunes, Google and YouTube to track which artists people are talking about, listening to, watching, and downloading. The results are compiled into a top 1,000 list presented on the site with a nifty CoverFlow-style animation. The index is currently analyzing over 23 million comments, posts, plays and views.
Tops in the web right now? Mariah Carey -- that's not surprising given that she just broke the record held by Elvis for most #1 singles in the US by a solo artist. In fact, there is a good deal of overlap between Song Index and the traditional Billboard chart. Billboard's #1 (Leona Lewis) is Song Index's #3, while Mariah Carey lands at #5 on the Billboard chart.
Song Index also provides some nice filtering tools. Users are able to filter by location (US, UK, and other), age, gender, and which source sites to take into account when creating custom charts. For example, according to Sound Index, the Silversun Pickups are the #1 indie band among woman ages 20-35 on the Internet. We'd love to see the BBC offer some chart widgets, so that bands could display their rankings on their social networking profiles, and people could display their custom charts.
Each band in the index also gets a profile page (see the one for the Silversun Pickups, for example), that includes a short profile, links to official and social networking pages, and a discography. Also see Songkick's Battle, which provides rankings based on MySpace, Blog posts, and Amazon sales rank. Their current #1? Vampire Weekend. Mariah Carey is #135 on the Songkick list.