Hello from Monsterloop. This blog entry was not planned; it’s in reponse to an email from two fans from California who were responding to a recent post.
Quick background: In that post, we talked about the connection between the Reverbnation Global Rankings for Electronic Music Bands and Facebook “Likes.” We briefly talked about Facebook’s new feature (which it is actively promoting) – “Talking About,” which relates to how much people who visit a Facebook Band site are “talking about” that Band. As we mentioned, “Talked About” was somewhat equivalent to Reverbnation’s counterbalancing the number of a band’s fans with how recently the Band acquired those fans. In short, “Talking About”, on Facebook, looks to how currently active a Band’s fans are. Soon after, we received this interesting email which we’re pasting below:
Dear Monster Loop, Greetings from Santa Cruz California. We’re writing this email in response to your post about Facebook likes and connect [sic] to the Reverb rankings. You mentioned that that the new Facebook [Talking About This] feature measures how hot a band is. That’s one way to look at it. We hear Facebook’s getting some pressure to better explain itself the metrics it keeps rolling out. The Talking About This metric is suppose to measure how engaging and interesting or intriguing a band is. We hear Facebook is trying to encourage bands to connect with their fans and they want to discourage bands from sticking up a music player and a couple glossy photos and then disappearing into the night to go drink champagne. So it’s more than just what’s current or, as like you put it, hot. It’s a kind of measure of how tight the band is with fans. It’s one thing to like the music. It’s another to like the Band. It’s yet another thing for the Band to like it’s fans, which this new metric somewhat reflects, if that makes sense.
After reading your post, we were curious how well some of our favorite artists would score in the Talks About percentage formula you wrote about. Turns out percentages were pretty low [ML note: the percentage of fans who like an artist who are also talking about them]. Most artists were around 1 percent. Many artists didn’t have a Facebook page but most did. Being computer geeks, we of course ran a program to calculate how engaging the artists are who are currently in the Reverbnation Global Top 500 for Electronica. We only included an artist if they had at least 100 Facebook Likes. You might find these results interesting, because you guys came out on top. Best, Kyle & Mike
(Monster Loop again) Thanks Guys – we appreciate the email! Our initial reaction is, the fact that we have fans that would send this email is evidence enough of how great our fans are! We did not independently validate each number but, before posting we did spot check around 15 or so and they checked out so we went ahead with the post. Oh, please note that, although this isn’t a big deal, the number of Facebook “Likes” reflected on our Reverbnation band page is incorrect – there’s some glitch in the data feed from Facebook to Reverbnation. The number reflected on our Monster Loop facebook page (which our friends in Santa Cruz used), however, should be correct. We did notice “Virginia” listed as a country which the fine people of that Colonial State may appreciate, but other than that – the list seems legit. William and I aren’t really sure what to make of the attached statistics, but we are happy and grateful to have any sort of connection to our fans, WHO WE REALLY LIKE. Later!
We (Monster Loop) noticed something this morning we thought our readers might find interesting. It has to do with the relationship between the number of “Facebook Likes” an artist has on the artist’s Facebook Band Page and that artist’s rank on the Reverbnation Global Electronica Charts. A picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the following, which is self-explanatory:
Notice any connection here?
Of course you do. We found this connection interesting. And here’s a related point we thought was interesting. On a Band’s Facebook page, in addition to the “Like” feature, there is also a metric called Talking About.”
What does “Facebook – Talking About” mean?
According to Facebook, its “Talking About” is a number that is designed to measure a Band’s fans:
- “Liking” the Band’s Page;
- Posting to the Band’s Page’s Wall;
- Commenting or sharing the Band’s posts or other content (e.g., photos, videos, albums) on that person’s page;
- Answering a question the Band may have posted, or RSVP-ing to one of its events;
- Mentioning or tagging the Band’s Page; or
- Simply checking in at the Band’s Page.
In theory, if someone “Likes” a Band, these are activities one might logically expect that fan to do. But do they, and what’s the point here? Does “Talking About” matter?
Apparently, yes, “Talking About” matters, and here’s why. Facebook page impressions are purportedly driven by a Facebook algorithm, known as “Edgerank” that determines whether or not to display a post on the wall of a fan. And this is where “Talking About” comes in. In short, “Talking About” is to Facebook what “Recency” is to the Reverbnation Music Charts - it helps Facebook/Reverbnation measure what is currently hot. For example, a band on Facebook that, for example, generated a large number of “Likes” some time ago cannot simply coast on these “Likes.” Otherwise, Michael Jackson might still be #1 on the Pop Charts, right? Don’t answer that.
So one’s “Talking About” numbers and, more significantly, one’s “Talking About Percentage,” are highly important. To arrive at one’s Talking About Percentage, you simply take the Band’s “Talking About” number and divide it by the Band’s number of “Likes” – both of which should appear on the Band’s page. The higher that “Talking About Percentage,” the more current/hot the Artist is supposed to be. In theory, anyway.
So we did a quick Talking About Percentage calculation for the artists included in the graphic above and, for good measure, threw ourselves in the mix. We were pleasantly startled when we got the following result:
I personally was sufficiently surprised to spit up a fair amount of coffee on my freshly pressed white shirt. It was not graceful and I’m glad you didn’t see it. This Talking About Percentage, of course, shifts a lot – in fact, that’s the whole point of it. But we at Monster Loop wanted to say to our fans – Thank You for talking about us. As Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.” For however long it lasts, we appreciate it.
This is Part 2 of a multi-part blog posting analyzing the way that Reverbnation, the popular artist/dj/rapper/band ranking website, ranks artists.
Since posting that blog, however, some aspect of the Reverbnation rankings approach bothered us, but we couldn’t quite figure out what. Then it hit us. But we’re not going to relay our conclusion – yet. Instead, we wanted to see if we could demonstrate what we think the flaw is (with hopes it can be addressed). That being said, we respect Reverbnation, which – and this is no small statement – we genuinely see as a key player in the future evolution of music worldwide.
What’s the best way to “rank” (and therefore promote) talented artists?
We decided to put together a group of people who are hard-core fans of Electronica – a “focus group,” in marketing language. Our idea was to play tracks by the Electronic Music artists ranked in the top 50 or top 100 on the Reverbnation Charts, but without telling the participants which artist made which song, or the current ranking of each artist, so as not to bias them towards choosing an artist just because that artist happened to be ranked higher in the charts (i.e., to prevent the ‘popularity bias’).
Then we decided we’d also test another theory. Instead of playing music by the Top 100 Electronica Artists, we would instead play 3 tracks by each of the Top 50 artists and mix that with tracks produced by artists ranked from 1001 to 1050 – again, without telling our focus group which artist made what track, etc.
Why do this? We figured there was obviously a connection between an artist’s/producer’s ranking on the Reverbnation Electronica Charts and quality of that artist’s music (certainly more so than what is reflected on more mainstream charts, like Billboard). However, we thought the current rankings might unevenly reward artists who regularly perform in public and/or were better at the administrative aspects of the music business, benefiting them over artists who also produced great work, but were unpolished (e.g., they didn’t know how to master their tracks) and/or simply did not perform publicly and, therefore, had a hard time accumulating fans – perhaps because they were studio producers rather than performers. Just because an artist was out in public promoting itself, we wondered, should that necessarily elevate them in the rankings over an introverted producer? Consider this: exactly 2 years ago, Lady Gaga was ranked #728 in the Electronica category on Reverbnation! She now purportedly has over 10 millions fans on Facebook. Did she just suddenly improve?
The answer, of course, is that Lady Gaga was just as good in October 2009 as she is currently – but 10 million people didn’t know about her – and this got reflected in her Reverbnation ranking. Aside from the obvious marketing benefits, there are, of course, advantages to performing publicly. Having been DJs ourselves, we are aware of the pressure of keeping a crowd moving for hours. Fun? Yes. Easy? No way, and we respect those who do it. But we should also remember that there are advantages to another approach: cloistering oneself, not that the two approaches are mutually exclusive.
Secluding oneself for a time in order to record music has the advantage of giving the artist time to reflect inwardly and perfect their craft. Frankfurt Germany’s electronic genius, Oliver Lieb (a/k/a/ Spicelab, LSG, etc.) is, we hear, one such example. Many of us remember our high school days being surprised to learn that the quiet girl no one knew graduated at the top of the class. It also gives an artist space to develop their own unique sound. There are times when it’s good to hear other artists. The trick is, preserving what it is that makes you, well, you, and not parroting other musicians. It’s our philosophy that what makes an artist great is his/her ability to express their uniqueness through their music. Unlike the conventional thinking of big business, people aren’t looking for a product/service – song, anything, produced for them. Instead, the power of a creation is when it represents an authentic expression of its creator – each of whom is unique. THAT is what we all want to connect with (or, in business parlance, purchase) because, to be candid, we’re all connected. Literally.
And so, after some initial failures, we managed to assemble a focus group. Yes, we actually did.
The Monster Loop Electronic Music “Focus Group”
What were we after in our group? First, because the Electronica category includes many different styles (e.g., Dubstep, Psytrance, House, Progressive, Ambient, etc.), we wanted people who liked many styles of Electronica. Second, we wanted men & women. Third, we wanted people who represented different age groups, but who all liked & actively listened to Electronica. And fourth, we wanted people who were into Electronic Music more than they were into the Electronic Music scene.
The Focus Group – it actually worked
We ended up finding 5 people, each of whom we paid a modest sum, to listen to music. And it wasn’t that hard. Little did they know at the time, they were about to hear A LOT of music. To respect their privacy, we will not reveal their identities. They did, however, give us permission to relay the following:
Participant #1 (“Katja”) is a 24 year old female from Germany studying mathematics at a Chicago-area university. She listens to Electronic Music around 5 hours a week and is “heavy” into the European Electronica scene.
Participant #2 (“Mike”) is a 45 year old man from Chicago who manages a record store. By the end of the weekend, he acquired a nickname – “Rain Man,” (he was cool with this) due to his ability to recall obscure facts about almost any techno artist from the past 30 years. He claims he has over 5,000 vinyl records, most of which are Electronica, though he pointed out that term “is of recent lineage.”
Participant #3 (“Jose”) is a 28 year old man from Hammond, Indiana. He’s a graphic designer in Chicago and said he likes every style of Electronica. His favorite style is Dubstep.
Participant #4 (“Jason”) is a 29 year old unemployed man from Chicago who likes ambient, downbeat, and experimental techno. He thinks Aphex Twin (Richard James) is “the best ever.”
Participant #5 (“Seth”) is a 40 year old man who has been listening to electronic music since 1988. His favorite styles are “Acid House, Progressive, and Psytrance” and “almost any style if it has a good beat.” Like ‘Rain Man,’ he had an impressive knowledge of the genre.
Weaknesses of our Group
The youngest participant in our focus group is 24 years old. There is obviously a huge contingent of fans under age 24 – and we’d love to get their viewpoint. This particular focus group, however, had alcohol. Enough said. Most of the participants are from Chicago; there is only one non-American (a German) and 4 of the 5 participants are men. A more subjective “weakness” (strength?) of the group is that there appeared to be a higher than average IQ level – just a guess and we’re not sure of the impact. Finally, 5 is hardly enough people to draw too many conclusions. From our own experience, however, we have continually been surprised to find that people who have listened to and commented on our music have generally liked the same tracks.
What the Electronic Music Focus Group listened to & liked
Results will be discussed in the following two blogs. For now, we wanted to relay what we had our little group do (bwaa haa ha). After meeting for dinner on Friday evening to make sure no one was Jack the Ripper, each person agreed to show up the following morning at my home outside Chicago (note: Monster Loop is listed as Atlanta on the charts because William lives there and I used to. Note also the photo on the left which was taken while setting up). They were then asked to listen to samples of 260 Electronic Music tracks. Yes, 260. And, yes, it took all day. Probably poor planning on our part. Beer was eventually brought in, and food. People took breaks, etc.
After hearing a track, each person was asked to score it between 1 and “10,” 10 being best. We did not provide any guidance other than that 10 was whatever they liked best, however they defined “best,” whether or not it had the slickest production, etc.
And they did. They actually did. Many funny things happened that day. That is the subject of my next post.
This is Part 1 of a new multi-part discussion analyzing the way that Reverbnation, the popular artist/dj/rapper/band ranking website, ranks artists.
Background for those unfamiliar with Reverbnation
Reverbnation is perhaps the leading online music-marketing platform. Used by over 1.7 million DJs/artists/bands, managers, and record labels, to increase their presence (and sales) on the internet, Reverbnation provides valuable marketing tools to music professionals (e.g., promotion, fan relationship & measurement, digital distribution, marketing, and concert booking ). A significant part of Reverbnation.com, though, is the sites rankings/charts, which are organized by musical category (e.g., country, rock, pop, rap, heavy metal, electronica, etc.) These can be viewed locally (a 25-mile radius), nationally, and globally.
The higher an artist is ranked, the more opportunities generally come the artists’ way because (1) Reverbnation is now working more closely with music industry professionals and insiders and (2) Reverbnation’s charts are becoming an efficient way for record company professionals to sort through the large group of emerging artists (a subject of a future blog entry). The rankings are viewed by many as a “screen” of sorts. It is, therefore, in an artists’ interest to rise in the Reverbnation rankings. The following is an image of “Infected Mushroom,” from L.A., currently #1 in the US, #4 Globally, in the Electronica category.
So, how are the rankings decided?
According to its website, the Reverbnation charts are based on Band Equity Score, or “BES.” BES is designed to measure popularity based on 4 factors: Reach, Influence, Access, and Recency. Reverbnation points out, however, that BES ”encompasses hundreds of things on the Reverbnation site,” including statistics not made available to the artists. Examples given are promoter plays, percentage of emails opened by your fans, and shared widgets.
How do these factors play out?
Those familiar with Reverbnation are already aware that each artist has its own webpage, similar in many ways to a Facebook page. On this page, artists have the option of sharing with their fans various information including the number of the artists (1) fans, (2) song plays (songs may be streamed for free on each artists’ page), (3) visits, and (4) widget hits (widgets are mini mp3 players fans can place on their own websites - the point being, widgets are a way for people to play an artists’ music from a different location).
But which factor is most important? And what are the relative weight of these, and other, factors? Reverbnation is secretive about the mathematical formula used to determine BET, which in turn determines an artists ranking. Let’s see what we can deduce about BET.
The value of factors can be deceptive
The following illustrates why many artists are confused by the method used to rank artists. At the moment, the top 10 Electronica artists on the Global Charts are as follows:
- Inna (Romania)
- Paul van Dyk (Germany)
- ATB (Germany)
- Infected Mushroom (US – L.A.)
- Bassnectar (US – San Francisco)
- Datsik (Canada)
- Ibrahimcelik (Turkey)
- Pretty Lights (US – Denver)
- Excision (Canada)
- Alderec King (Spain)
The artists, #4 “Infected Mushroom ” and #8 “Pretty Lights” chose not to make their fan data public, so for purposes of this example, we’re using #11 Frankie O. Solovely and #12 Umek, to have 10 artists.
How important are the number of fans? #1 Inna clearly leads this category (has by far the largest number of fans). So far that seems a key metric. However, #12 “Umek” has over 350,000 fans, while #10 “Alderec King” has only around 60,000 – almost 300,000 less than Umek, yet is ranked higher. Is this because Alderec pulled in a large number of fans in the past 2 weeks? Or is the number of fans not a key factor? We’ll come back to this.
How important are visits to an artists Reverbnation page? ”Excision,” rated #9 on the Global Charts, leads this category with around 215,000 visits, but Inna has less than half as many visits, yet Inna is #1. Again, this conceivably could be due to recency, or perhaps artist visits is not a key factor in one’s ranking.
How important are song plays? In terms of the number of times music on an artists’ Reverbnation page has been played (streamed), the clear leaders in our example are “Ibrahimcelik” and “Datsik.” Both have over 2 million plays; in contrast, Inna has only around 150,000 plays - a sizable difference – yet Inna is #1. Does this suggest song plays are given little weight or can this be explained away if, for example, song plays for Ibrahimcelik and Datsik occurred several months back? Is it possible Reverbation is concerned that heavily weighting song plays leads to rankings distorted by artists continuously playing their own music and/or entering into pacts with other artists to play each other’s music non-stop and therefore artificially increase their BES?
And there’s another angle here. These statistics may suggest that the average fan of Ibrahimcelik (112,019 fans), plays 19 of his tracks on average, while an Inna fan (3.6 million fans) does not, on average, play an Inna song even once (0.5 plays per fan - total of 167,497 plays). Huh? Something seems odd here. Are Inna’s fans that much less into playing her music than Ibrahimcelik’s fans? Does Inna just have a more organized fan-collection system? If Ibrahimcelik’s fans are playing each of his songs that many more times, should Reverbnation assist in promoting a lesser known artist (at least lesser known to us, but maybe that’s not saying much). Assuming his fans are streaming Ibrahimcelik’s music that often, should he only be #7 while Inna is #1, that is, what constitutes a genuine “fan”? It appears Reverbnation partly attempts to address this by purportedly giving more “credit” to fans that are registered on Reverbnation.
How important are widget hits/impressions? The leader here is Bassnectar, with over 300,000. Paul Van Dyk has 14,000, but Van Dyk is ranked #2 and Bassnectar is ranked #5. So widgets are important, but the rankings don’t appear to be driven by this factor.
Post more music? Another interesting factor is whether an artist is penalized/rewarded for posting more music. “Frankie O. Solovely” (#11) has over 125 tracks posted, while “Alderec King” (#10) has just 2. Solovely has around 2,500 total song plays, while King has 8,182. In other words, a track composed by King averages around 4,000 plays per track, while a track by Solovely averages 21 plays per track – quite a difference - yet the two artists are neck-in-neck in the ratings. And Bassnectar (ahead of both at #5) averages around 1,000 plays per track, so plays-per-track does not appear to be a key factor. Should it be? And should an artist be rewarded for posting more material? What incentive do artists already selling their music have to post loads of their music on Reverbnation to be streamed for free?
We ran some back-of-the-envelope calculations and it appears there is a penalty for having more than 3 songs, increasing in severity up to around 10-12 tracks, and then capping (i.e., once you hit 12 tracks, there’s no additional penalty for posting more than 12 tracks). We are not entirely sure of our conclusion here, but based on these 10 artists, the data supports this preliminary conclusion. In other words, it appears that an artists number of listens/widget hits, etc. is divided by the number of tracks (though using a more complex formula – at least it appears this is the case).
While it appears confusing, a factor does appear to stand out
In Reverbnation’s Questions & Answers section, it addresses this confusion by reminding artists of two key components: (1) recency and (2) there are dozens – perhaps over a hundred – factors they consider.
So one can never truly decipher Reverbnation’s formula, right? That’s probably wrong, and the answer is pretty basic.
The ranking of the 10 Electronica artists shows a very strong correlation between one’s BES and the number of fans. For math nerds reading this, we calculate a correlation of .8303. Based on the example featured in this blog – and we admit 10 artists is a VERY small data set and not enough to draw broad conclusions - the number of one’s fans, for example, is 2-3 times more important than the number of fan visits to one’s reverbnation page.
There’s a logical reason for this (we suppose). Put yourself in Reverbnation’s shoes. Reverb wants to attract top talent – among other reasons, doing so will further increase its credibility in the music industry. Assume Lady Gaga was considering Reverbnation (she may already be on there, we have not checked). If the key criteria were the number of visits or plays, it would seem that Lady Gaga would have a large disadvantage because visits = visits on Reverbnation and plays = plays on Reverbnation music players. Lady Gaga purportedly has over 10 million fans on her Facebook page. Reverbnation allows artists to carry fans over. This way Lady Gaga could, if she chose to register on Reverbnation, instantly be ranked #1 (at least, I assume that would be enough to carry the day!). Reverbnation surely is aware that a hot artist would shy away from having to prove themselves among a large group of unknown but very talented, emerging artists.
A problem with this is, it is difficult to authenticate a fan list. A band can simply provide a huge excel file with fan email addresses and get credit for this list. To reduce the risk of distortion, Reverbnation “quarantines” such contacts for 3 days, in which time the new fan has a chance to accept or reject their status as a fan for Reverbnation purposes. If the person does nothing, they are counted.
Soooo, what’s the bottom line? We’re not sure (yet), sorry. We’re still analyzing it with the help of an autistic friend. Our view is – and we’re not going out on a limb here – there is no perfect way to rank artists, and Reverbnation appears to be making a genuine attempt to come up with a fair system. We assume they keep it secret so that artists won’t discover and take advantage of loop holes in the scoring. The idea is to come up with a way to discover talented artists – even if the artist doesn’t happen to have friends at a large record label. Time will tell.
Monster Loop has been selected to participate in a Microsoft promotion called “Playlist Seven” and we want your help! 50 songs (all different genres) were just posted at http://www.reverbnation.com/playlist7 You can go to this link and download 7 of the songs. The 7 most popular, based on downloads, are permanently featured by Microsoft. To prevent artists and friends from boosting stats, you have to become a fan of Microsoft. Basically, you just follow the link in this email, click the Facebook icon, and become a fan. Don’t worry – they’ll leave you alone otherwise, it’s simply to prevent voter fraud – no spam.
Our song, “Transcendental Sonata” – an electronic dance remake of Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia”, Op. 27, No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1801 – is up now and will be up all week. One interesting part (well, to us), is… we get paid! We’ve already been paid a nominal fee for participation, but if we’re among the top 7 this week, we get paid substantially more. So please, download our song. As of this writing we are ranked #6 out of 50 contenders. We look at it this way, we’re not filthy capitalists, we enjoy the idea of having Bill Gates pay for our equipment.
Ciao for now!
Patrick & William of Monster Loop
Not too long ago, the members of Monster Loop recall a time back when we were young dj punks that finding good electronic music created in America was… how should one put it? a challenge. In fact, this member recalls playing a 9-hour dj set in northern California that featured only ONE track produced by an American artist. Nine hours! What was going on then?
Taste in music is, of course, relative. We recall carting around album bins filled with vinyl produced in Germany, produced in Belgium, in France, in the UK, hell, even Romania (and one helluva track it was – Robitiko Rejekto!)… and so forth and so on…and nary an American artist in the cue. Well, there was the acid house section in case the evening got weird (dj rule 1 – be prepared for strange, strange will happen). That section was loaded with some great American artists such as Phuture (DJ Pierre – creator of “Acid Traxx”). But even DJ Pierre was, purportedly, more awed by the UK techno scene, allegedly stating that it was there that he, for the first time, felt truly appreciated.
Several explanations for this phenomenon have been offered. Some claim that, just at the time electronic music was starting to take off in the U.S., the Seattle rock scene kicked in (yes, Nirvana, et. al.), effectively crushing the growth of techno in America at that time. Similarly, some say – and we tend to agree – that Americans are a tad too wedded to the concept of music as guitar, unable to move past the idea that music does not necessarily have to be created by an ensemble of guitarists and a drummer wearing faded tshirts and weathered jeans, gesticulating wildly behind a gyrating singer yelling about his/her particular neurosis. Geez, try therapy kid, it’s worth it. Perhaps this is overly critical – something we’re wary of doing, but it seems to us that this concept has become antiquated.
But times do change – ultimately the western world begrudgingly accepted the fact that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the other way around, and ultimately Americans began to accept that electronic music was a vehicle that allowed them to hear five trillion more variations of sound than under other, more traditional, vehicles of sound (and let’s face it, that’s all an instrument is). And now we can proudly state that electronic music is alive and kicking in America. And, on that note, we offer for your enjoyment the following tracks, all made in the USA. Okay, so we included one of our own. We didn’t want to miss out on this one. Incidentally, the tracks are made by, in order, Burro Music (Texas), Aligning Minds (Maryland), Gregor (Illinois), Monster Loop (Georgia), C’Mongrooves (Florida), and Suremy (California).
He has been called “the mad genius” due to the extraordinarily diverse, innovative tracks he has produced since 1985. The Guardian Newspaper called him “the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music.” He has been an inspiration to both members of Monster Loop. In honor of him, we’ve selected a few tracks by some contemporary artists which we think evidence the enduring influence of Richard James, aka Aphex Twin.
Artist / Country / Track
- Musical Craft / France / Tum Tum Tu Tu Ta
- Ocoeur / France / Trip hop in the night
- Kay / Hungary / inka
- Jam’s / France / Sentiments eparpilles
- Maelstrom / England / Music Technology
- Monster Loop / USA / Jacked
At this writing, over 450,000 artists/musicians have registered with Reverbnation, a cutting-edge music streaming website based in the United States, and are eligible to be ranked within the artist’s respective musical category, of which there are 18. Currently, 23,904 artists have registered with Reverbnation under the broad category “Electronica” (there is no sub-category for “ambient,” “acid house” “trance,” or “progressive house,” for example) and are therefore eligible to be ranked in the Electronica category.
Reverbnation calculates and updates its rankings using an objective and democratic rating system which, each day, generates a “band equity” score (the higher the better). Band equity is awarded based on several factors, including the number of times an artist’s page is visited, the number of times the artist’s music is streamed, and the number of individuals who click to become a fan of the respective artist. Currently, Paul van Dyk from Berlin is #1, while the artist “DJ C@iDa*” has the dubious distinction of being ranked #23,904, or last. Perhaps his name plays a role; we wish him well.
Within their respective category, musicians generally strive to reach the Global Top 100, if for no other reason than the promotional opportunities the ranking creates. Reaching the Global Top 100 in any category is no easy feat: an electronica artist ranked 100 on Reverbnation’s global charts, for example, would rank in the top 99.6 percentile of global artists registered at Reverbnation – no small feat given the number of outstanding acts currently producing electronic music throughout the world that have already registered.
The country with the most representatives within Reverb’s Electronica Global Top 100 is the US, with 41. This number is somewhat skewed by the fact that Reverbnation is based in the US. American artists are, therefore, more likely to register. Besides the US, other countries strongly represented in the Global Top 100 include the UK (14), Germany (6), Australia (5), Brazil (3), France (3), Israel (3), Netherlands (3), Portugal (3), Turkey (3), and Canada (2). In all, these countries represent 86 of the top 100 slots. Other countries represented at this time are Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Japan, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The cities most represented—each with 7 artists in the Global Top 100—are New York City and London. Other strongly represented cities include San Francisco (4) and Chicago, Los Angeles, Istanbul, Lisbon, Montreal, Melbourne, Romford, and Sao Paula, which each have 2 artists in the Global Top 100.
Some very skilled artists who fall under the broad category electronica but that have not registered and therefore are ineligible to be ranked include Aphex Twin, Oliver Lieb (i.e., LSG), Autechre, Plastique de Reve, and Rob Acid – just to name a few. There are, however, numerous well-known artists who have registered with Reverbnation but who find themselves in line behind many lesser known artists in the rankings under Reverbnation’s democratic ranking process. Examples include The Orb (ranked #44); DJ Spooky (#177); Juno Reactor (#340); Massive Attack (#598); Boards of Canada (#704); Armin van Buuren (#722); Lady Gaga (#728); and DJ Tiesto (#822). This is less surprising once one begins to listen to the incredible wealth of talent represented in the rankings.
To view and hear these and other talented artists, visit the “Rankings” tab on this website.