Reporting Courtney E. Smith
Allowing Facebook access to track what you’re listening to on Spotify, Rdio, YouTube and other integrated music apps has finally yielded some interesting information. Facebook partnered with Stamen Design to create Beatquake, a project that tracked songs through the population of Facebook for 90 days, via the newly-introduced Facebook Graph function.
What they found is that Americans were listening to “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. A lot. Like, pretty much constantly. The fact that the song stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks total tipped us off, but the geographical breakdown in the video below shows that the whole nation is, in fact, as equally infatuated with the ode to consignment stores.
Beatquake creates a 3D map of the United States and, using three colored layers, tracks the songs that got the highest volume of plays. As the map shows, “Thrift Shop” was rarely out of the No. 1 position, country-wide, for the duration of the tracking period (February and March of 2013). That’s pretty great for a group who long declined to sign to a major label, instead choosing to go it on their own until they had a bona fide hit on their hands.
The Lumineers also got a lot of play with “Ho Hey,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart. The GRAMMY-nominated group have been going strong since 2012 and, if Facebook users have something to say about, won’t be losing steam.
The map also shows spikes around the release of will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream And Shout,” the unexpected rise of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” and a developing national obsession with Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive.”