Pop Viz: What music matters most to KEXP?

March 24, 2014

KEXP is a local public radio station here in Seattle. It’s an awesome station and they play lots of indie and lesser known bands. They stream online, so everyone can enjoy their awesomeness. They also keep a live-updated playlist that shows every song they ever played since 2001. Pretty incredible and kind of a data-slash-music-nerd’s dream (and definitely worth supporting!). I used import.io to scrape everything from 2013. I’m going to work on getting the other years in there, too.

I had all kinds of grand ideas on what kinds of things I would do with this data. I made a lot of crazy looking charts. But when it came down to it, the simplest charts told the best stories. So I scaled back. What ended up being what I think is the most interesting dashboard with this data is pretty plain. It’s simply how many plays a dj played an artist/album/song.

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If you want a little more depth than that, I made another dashboard that will let you see which songs by a particular artist each DJ plays and when they play it:

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I was playing with some of the time-based data as well. When I did a plot of Week vs Song Plays, it’s pretty obvious to see when KEXP is doing a pledge drive; number of songs played drops over 15% each time. I also looked at the weekly schedule by making a heat map of days of the week versus hours in the day. You can see blocks where they play less music: like Saturday and Sunday mornings when a local news talk show plays instead. The heat map under that shows the number one artist by plays for each hour of each day. Apparently 12am on Thursday is a really good time to hear some David Bowie.

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Enjoy exploring these dashboards and learning where my hipster taste comes from! And if you love music as much as I do, be cool like me and help support KEXP!

That's exactly what I look like rocking out to KEXP on the bus.

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