We Are Hunted is just one of a number of web upstarts hoping to displace Billboard as the chart of record for music. What makes We Are Hunted slightly different is that it not only produces the requisite daily and weekly music charts, it releases a set of research reports every 6 months. It recently published over 100 reports on popular music artists, covering the 6-month period January to June 2010. The research is based on analysis of 531,901 music articles and 13,439,734 music-related tweets.
The reports are most helpful in showing the impact of Twitter and online press coverage on musicians. One of the most popular artists of 2010 has been Lady Gaga, so let's see what her We Are Hunted report shows.
As you'd expect, We Are Hunted ranks Lady Gaga very highly over the first half of 2010.
She was 2nd overall on the We Are Hunted mainstream chart. 2,499 artists were analyzed and the english rock group Muse was 1st. The rankings are based on what the We Are Hunted community is listening to.
We Are Hunted had Lady Gaga 1st on Twitter and 3rd in the music press, over the first half of 2010.
An artist's Twitter ranking is based on the number of tweets over the 6-month period indicating that someone was listening to that artist. Last year We Are Hunted's Nick Crocker told ReadWriteWeb that its Twitter rankings are determined by "sampling Twitter throughout the day looking for tweets that indicate someone is listening to or playing music and analyzing these tweets in our semantic engine." Lady Gaga had 65,465 such tweets.
Gaga tweeting reached a frenzy in January 2010, but kept up a steady flow through to the end of June.
Lady Gaga was ranked 3rd overall in news coverage, in magazine websites and music blogs, with 4,326 articles. March was the high point of coverage, with the biggest news day for Lady Gaga being March 12 (mostly about her 'Telephone' video with Beyonce).
As an independent reference point, below is a Google Trends chart for Lady Gaga, showing the search activity for the pop star over 2010. It doesn't seem to match up with We Are Hunted's trend lines, which shows once again that any web statistics must be taken with a grain of salt.
We expect this type of analysis of online music to get more sophisticated over time, as startups like We Are Hunted and Ultimate Chart attempt to cut in on Billboard's action. Let us know your thoughts about these statistics in the comments.