We did an analysis of this week’s Billboard Canadian Hot 100, which ranks the most popular songs in the nation from radio airplay, purchases, and streaming data, to determine the listening and buying preferences of Canadians based on the nationality of the artists of the songs. The results are displayed in the pie chart below. We assigned points based on the position of the track on the chart: 100 points for the nation of the artist with the #1 song, 99 points for #2, etc., all the way down to 1 point for #100. For example, the #1 song was “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift. She is American, so that translates to 100 points for the USA. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran was #12. He is British, so that translates to 89 points for the UK. There were 13 countries represented on this week’s chart. Once we assigned points for each track, we tallied the points for the countries and came up with percentages for each, creating the pie chart. We looked at the main artist rather than the featured artist, and we split the points for collaborations.
As you can see, the United States takes more than half the pie at 52.8%. The UK is a distant second at 15.2%. Canada is close behind at 13.3%. While it is encouraging that there are a number of countries represented, it does seem pretty lopsided in States-side favour. It is probably true that most Canadian music lovers do not pay much attention to where an artist is from (though might pay more attention to artists they know are Canadian), just buying and streaming the songs they like. However, with the wealthy U.S. media plugging its own artists, a number of exquisite songs from, say, Australia, don’t often see the light of day here. A possible conclusion might be that Canadians do not necessarily prefer American tunes but rather are more familiar with them because of broadcaster choices. It takes a lot of work to familiarize oneself with popular music from around the world, by looking at the charts of other countries to discover new artists or switching iTunes stores to other countries and seeing what is popular there. Taking the time to do this, though, often leads to rewarding discoveries.