Google’s Music Timeline

In: Culture

17 Jan 2014

Popularity of genres today, based on how many Google Play Music users have those artists or albums in their libraries. It takes a second to wrap your head around the temporal aspects of it – it’s basically looking at music that is in most people’s playlists now and telling you when it was made. It’s hard to tell if this is thus revealed preference of how good each genre was at each time, how popular, how enduring, or how old people are (whose music collections go back further?). Ok, I’m not sure exactly what this means. Haha!

Each stripe on the graph represents a genre; the thickness of the stripe tells you roughly the popularity of music released in a given year in that genre. (For example, the "jazz" stripe is thick in the 1950s since many users’ libraries contain jazz albums released in the ’50s.) Click on the stripes to zoom into more specialized genres.


2 Responses to Google’s Music Timeline



January 17th, 2014 at 10:57 am

It matches my general impressions. I don’t know that much about jazz, but it brings to mind the 50s when I think about it. Likewise, “rock” and “folk” the 60s and 70s.



January 18th, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I find it amazing how all the different sub-genres are pretty much evenly popular. I think it says a lot about the death of terrestrial radio who’s goal was to push select music on the masses.

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