There are a number of pages where a "regional profile" has been included. These indicate how the data shown on a page relates to geographic regions, for example on an artist's song page they show how well that artist has done in the various song charts round the world. The key template is shown above, showing the nine regions displayed. Locations where the artist has had no success fade the flags to a grey colour. So for example the Abba songs had great success in Europe, some in the US and none in Japan.
The regions defined are the USA (7 squares), Japan (3 squares), UK (2 squares), Germany, France, North Europe, South Europe, other English Speaking and the Rest of the World. An explanation of why these regions have been selected (and why the sizes were set to these ratios) is given later in this page. On this page we show the results for artist songs, artist albums and song titles. We also have done some comparisons of these results across regions to show how they relate to each other.
The pictures in this section show the song based success of different artists, the numbers are based on unadjusted scores which means that modern acts are over represented. In addition before 1950 there is not much data from anywhere other than the US and the "Rest of the World" so the other regions won't show much success if an act comes from before then.
The pictures in this section show the album based success of different artists, the numbers are based on unadjusted scores which means that modern acts are over represented. In addition unlike the song data the album charts do not adequately cover Japan and the Rest of the World.
The pictures in this section show the success of different song titles in the regions. The much larger pool of possible song titles means that each one has to have a greater level of success to show in a region. Here are the region profiles for the 20 most successful song titles:
The regions were originally defined based on the IFPI data from 2003. Having previously tried a number of alternate ways to group the data (for example by region, North America against Europe) we found that dividing into these 10 regions (9 geographical and one for the Internet) delivers some reasonable results for looking at regional success. Basing the market estimates on the 2004 IFPI figures, which was the last year they listed all the countries, we get a similar profile:
This division gives enough detail to show some interesting patterns without leaving any one region with so few inputs that the lumpiness of the input overwhelms the results. Each of the regions can be related to a multiple of 5%, so the USA gets 7 slots, Japan gets 3 and so on. This leads to the ratio of areas that we have used.
The next step is to arrange the areas. We started by trying to place each region in the location it would occupy on a standard world map. Once we had identified the regions that are similar we adjusted the map to bring them closer, for example the other English Speaking countries clearly need to be close to the USA and UK, the European countries must be grouped and so on. The various flags were all from Wikipedia.
The next step was to assign a value to each region for a particular item such as an artist. The various regions each have a different number of contributing charts, and these all cover different periods. So we had to sum the unadjusted scores across the region and then sort these and take the position of the item in the total list. Any item with a position of 1-10 then gets a transparency of 0% to 5%, a position of 100th in the list is a transparency of 30% and so on. The actual numbers were fine tuned to deliver a set of pictures that show the features.
If the artist rankings are correlated between regions we get the mass of numbers pictured above. The darker blues indicate closer results. There are a number of features that can be seen here:
The process of calculating these metrics is quite complex, for that reason the data shown is not recalculated when the site is generated. The data was calculated as follows: