The data behind Best of 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010
by klaas
filed under Announcements
Comments: 14

Best of 2010

The moment many of you have been waiting for arrived yesterday: revealed the top ten of our Best of 2010 list.

This year Ke$ha crashed into the number one spot, stealing the crown from 2009’s winner Lady Gaga. She’s proven practically untouchable in the race to the top too, clocking up an astonishing 15.9 million scrobbles over the year with her January 2010 release Animal.

She took over 4 million more than the runner-up, Mumford & Sons, and if you look at the stream graph of the most-played music month-by-month you’ll see she’s been a permanent fixture.

Stream graph preview

In my opinion, however, the even more exciting bit is that we’re also making the underlying data available for anyone to download.

I was one of the privileged people here at who had to shed lots of blood, sweat and tears to get the data for the Best of 2010 list generated, so I’d really hate for it to only be used by us. There’s now plenty of opportunity for you to create different views on this data by visualising it in new and clever ways, combining it with other information obtained via our API or even from entirely different sources. I simply can’t wait to see what other people will do with it.

Balloon Race preview

To get you started, we quickly whipped up a balloon race style data visualisation. The “Best of 2010 Balloon Race“ is based on the Best of 2010 data, showing you how much the top artists in our chart have risen (or fallen) in popularity since last year, as well as contrasting the overall number of listeners for each artist against their rank (number of listeners for their 2010 release).

We even went all the way and made a personalised version of this visualisation available to subscribers on Playground. As usual, we invite you all to send us feedback or join the Playground Group to discuss.

If you’re interested in working with data and consider yourself capable of doing useful things with large amounts of it, then you should come work for us. Maybe you’ll be the one showing off the Best of 2011 data next year!


  1. Tecfan
    16 December, 17:12

    Woo! I love the balloons! the personal version gives you a really good image of my listening habits the past year I think

    Tecfan – 16 December, 17:12
  2. Klaas Bosteels
    16 December, 17:28

    @Tecfan: Glad you like it, thanks!

    Klaas Bosteels – 16 December, 17:28
  3. Amir
    16 December, 17:51

    Homo mainstream music, as always…

    Amir – 16 December, 17:51
  4. Greg Golebiewski
    16 December, 18:20

    Fascinating, especially the month-by-month graph. It shows that even such big stars like Alicia Keys or Massive Attack can be “temporary” successes.

    Greg Golebiewski – 16 December, 18:20
  5. Wonka
    16 December, 18:24

    Thanks for this chart. I’m on for the first year and I got many bands to listen out of this chart. Looking forward to 2011 one :)

    Wonka – 16 December, 18:24
  6. Anahkiasen
    17 December, 16:05

    As of every year, I’ll judge my good taste in music by how few artists I have in common with that top.

    Seriously guys, Kesha. SRSLY U GUYZ.

    Anahkiasen – 17 December, 16:05
  7. Venkat
    18 December, 03:35

    Interesting viz.

    Venkat – 18 December, 03:35
  8. Moi
    4 January, 04:10

    From your twitter:

    ‘We’re having a problem displaying recent scrobbles, but they aren’t lost. You can see them all at’

    This is wrong. When I go to my tracks page, all I can see is one track from the CD I started listening to an hour ago, and nothing else. The scrobbles are in the app, but are not appearing on the tracks page.

    Moi – 4 January, 04:10
  9. one pissed off mama
    9 January, 18:16

    Looks like is trying to make a shark-jump. Not only have they done away with tech support, but today I visited only to be greeted with a giant TV ad covering my ENTIRE PROFILE PAGE, including a bandwidth-hogging flash movie. And I’m still angry about the time I wasted creating driving traffic to the trainwreck known as MySpace! Maybe this is not the blog to vent my anger, but damn. I used to love this site and uploaded whole tracks from bunches of albums… now it looks like as with MySpace, the artist is nothing but fodder for greedy, clueless, obnoxious-as-hell corporate overlords.

    one pissed off mama – 9 January, 18:16
  10. scrobmypod
    11 January, 10:12

    This as unlikely to get read by a staff member as it would be in the support forums, but here goes:

    Please fix iPod scrobbling! There are a lot of people upset that it’s not working, without any kind of response or legitimate fix from the staff!

    scrobmypod – 11 January, 10:12
  11. r a c i b o
    17 January, 20:16

    and I’m glad that I have nothing in my from the best charts.

    r a c i b o – 17 January, 20:16
  12. idurrson
    20 January, 17:37

    Having problems obtaining the file, server taking too long (500).

    Anyone else getting this, or if you have it can you upload it for me please :-)

    …C’mon, upload it for me… for the sake of us having at least one shared artist together we’re practically mates ;-)

    idurrson – 20 January, 17:37
  13. Seventy9TA6pt6
    20 January, 18:38

    We know some of you are experiencing problems with the service at the moment; we’re working on fixing it right now.
    half a minute ago via Tweetie for Mac

    Seventy9TA6pt6 – 20 January, 18:38
  14. Ayetho
    21 January, 08:51

    So I’ve not been able to access the site for at least 16 hours now. If there’s a major problem maybe you could give us some information? It’s not like you don’t have a blog or something. You don’t have to use it exclusively for advertising yourself in every single post.

    Also, why doesn’t that twitter post ever get old? It’s saying “36 minutes ago” for me, but it said the same thing yesterday.

    Ayetho – 21 January, 08:51

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