Regional Hit Chart

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JPP from Portugal suggested that it would be interesting to be able to compare and contrast the hit songs for each continent. This would let readers see how different regions have distinct musical "tastes".

Of course to be valid we have to have enough inputs in a selected region so that the results are not dominated by just a single chart's input and they "smooth out" any peculiar inputs. These restrictions mean that we can only really look at North America and Europe as the regions and only for the years 1950 to 2008. For this calculation Canada is part of North America and the UK and Ireland are part of Europe. There are a set of pages that compare the top 20 songs from North America, the whole World and Europe:

1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008              

The North American results have been generated by combining all the charts from the USA and Canda. The European chart combines all the input charts that come from countries in Europe. The scores generated use the standard approach to generating the score. Since North America represents 39.9% of the worlds music revenue and Europe has 37.1% this division is probably fair.

A different way to look at the regions is provided with the distinctive songs pages these list the hits that were most distinctive for the USA, UK, Germany, France, Canada, the Antipodes (Australia and New Zealand) and Scandanavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland).

Regional Trends

Starting with data version 2.0 the total scores are being adjusted to compensate for the large number of European charts available after 1980. This has radically improved the overall level of agreement between the regions.

Regional Scores 1950-2008

It used to be that the dominant factor when comparing data from the three defined regions was the number of chart entries for each year. There are few European charts that start before 1955, and the number of American entries declines from 1975 onwards. The plot above shows how the accumulated score for the top 100 songs used to change over the period. After 1990 the world chart correlated closely with the European entries and very poorly with the US ones.

Regional Correlation 1950-2008

Since the scores have been adjusted the correlation between the final result and the European charts after 1980 stays at about 0.7 (rather than 0.8), but the North American correlation value is now above 0.7 (rather than below 0.5). This picture shows that the results of comparison between the regions is now reasonable as a measure of success all the way to 2005. The regional comparison has only been done for the period 1950-2008.

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