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ARIA charts versus the Hottest 100

At the time of writing, the social fabric of Australia is being torn apart by people making write-in votes for Taylor Swift's 'Shake it Off' in JJJ's Hottest 100. One argument being put by Swift fans is that 1989 is unarguably the album of the year, and that the lead single from this album should therefore have been played on JJJ, allowing ordinary votes for it in the Hottest 100.

I scraped the end-of-year singles charts* from ARIA and the Hottest 100 lists from Wikipedia and tried to count the number of songs on both lists.

*i.e., the top-selling singles for the year, not the weekly chart in late December.

I used approximate string matching on both titles and artists, to account for different punctuation marks, etc. But there are likely false negatives in my results (i.e., songs which made both lists but were not counted) because one title was written with a bracketed subtitle and the other wasn't, or one specified that it was a remix and the other didn't, etc. I'm pretty sure that there aren't any false positives, so that the numbers are at least a lower bound for the number of songs common to two lists.

With those caveats, here are the results:

The biggest sellers have never dominated the Hottest 100. Only once (in 2000) have three of the top ARIA five made the Hottest 100, and they did so at positions 4, 24, and 87. Nevertheless, in the early years the JJJ list had quite a lot of overlap with the charts (ARIA only lists the top 50 songs for years 1996 and earlier). JJJ's character seems to have become particularly distinct in 2001; since that year, only once have there been more than 10 songs from the ARIA top 100 make the Hottest 100, and never has more than one song from the ARIA top 5 made the JJJ list.

The end-of-year charts aren't a perfect yardstick to measure the commercial-poppiness of JJJ – amongst other things, a song may chart late in the year that it's eligible for the Hottest 100, and also chart in the year after. Nevertheless, I think it's been an interesting exercise. Below you can list the songs that made one or both lists; in the former case, ARIA songs are listed in order, followed by Hottest 100 songs. Meat Loaf, Whitney Houston, and Sonia Dada all missed out on the Hottest 100 in 1993; now there's a hashtag campaign I would have got behind.

My interest in this topic doesn't extend to fixing inconsistent capitalisation (many ARIA charts were in all caps) or any other stylistic errors.

Show songs which in

ARIA positionH100 positionSongArtist

Posted 2015-01-16.


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