Robin sent me a link to Google Labs Music Trends. It tracks what Google Talk users are listening to.
First, consider a few points:
1. Google Talk currently has a whopping 1% of the IM market with 44,000 users of the client in June and 3.4 million unique users overall in May (Google Talk standalone client is different from the Talk integrated into Gmail).
2. You can only report Music Status through the standalone client, not the Gmail version.
3. Music Status doesn’t automatically update this chart. Rather, you have to opt-in to share data. From a privacy perspective (not to mention PR), I fully applaud this decision. From a data-gathering decision, this means that Music Trends is measuring some absurdly small percentage of 44,000 users.
Which is why you get stuff like this (apologies for image width)
For those of you who don’t remember your hott 80′s hits, “Shattered Dreams” was a one-hit wonder by Johnny Hates Jazz (“You’re giving me, giving me/ nothing but shattered dreams, shattered dreams”) which isn’t likely to have a resurgence any time soon, let alone in the new hot “Gym” remix format.
If one person’s mistagged Shattered Dreams can get to #8 on the Google chart, how hard can it be to skew it? I downloaded Google Talk, opted in, and have been playing MSTRKFT all afternoon in an attempt to thwart its careful collection of analytics. I urge you to do the same.
The chart apparently updates once a day, so tune in the next few days to see if this did anything.
(For a decent collection of online listening analytics, I recommend Last.fm’s charts; although these are similarly skewed towards highly technical, highly dorky, highly OCD internerds, who appear to listen to middle-of-the-road soft alternative rock.)