Things are back on track in Europe: Coldplay has the control

When I first started tracking European music map, which is about 2 months ago, Europe was under the command of three artists: Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead. Coldplay was popular around Western and Central Europe. Arctic Monkeys was the top artist in Balkans, and Radiohead was sprinkled throughout the Europe a little over here, a little over there.

Later on, by the end of November, Pink Floyd and Foo Fighters released their new albums, and 90% of all Europe is transformed into pink and purple of them. It was a fast and surprising change of musical taste in Europe, which I discussed in my previous blog post Pink Floyd Strikes Back!

And look now what happened. This map was all pink just 3 weeks ago!

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Normally Europe is not that colorful at this time of the year, mostly snowy, rainy and freezing cold. But apparently, Coldplay is determined to bring the nice and pretty “Green Europe” back. They are back to the top artist position in 12 different countries all across Europe. This tells me something very impressive about them. Their sound is well accepted not only in a particular region, but in all across the Europe, and as long as nothing extraordinary happens (like an album release by Pink Floyd) they will remain in their position.

This also means that the shocking raise of Pink Floyd and Foo Fighters has no big permanent effects. Currently, the only country Pink Floyd is the top artist is Montenegro (with 14 listeners), and no Foo Fighters to be found anywhere in the map.

The most interesting thing is Arctic Monkeys presence in the Balkans region, the Southeastern Europe. Even more interestingly, even the Asian neighbor, Turkey, has Arctic Monkeys as the top artist (this can be seen from the Asia map here). But why only this region, but nowhere else (except Portugal)? Do you think people there let each other know by saying “Hey I found this great band. You should give it a try”? No way, they do not even talk the same language! Maybe there is something culturally involved? People living in Balkans are getting bored quickly from the calm sound of Coldplay and look for something more hyped up? These are all interesting questions to answer. But what makes me the most curious is a more general one: “Can we come up with a link of music taste with nationalities?”

We see a similar relationship between Linkin Park and Russia & Belarus region. Linkin Park is the source of the purple color on the east side of the map. Probably Russians are looking for something to warm during this cold Siberian winter. Similarly, alt-J, a band that I keep listening on the radio everyday but didn’t know its name until I see them on this map, is the top artist in three Central Europe countries: Slovakia, Austria and Switzerland. If you are also puzzled like me when you hear the name alt-J, let me try to help you with this video.

The good old Radiohead is the most popular artist in Ukraine, Moldova and Iceland. I can imagine they used to have the control over European music market some years ago, like Coldplay does right now. Maybe a new album might change things in their favor? Hey, Thom Yorke, do you copy? Yes I definitely need a new Radiohead album right now.

There are some light blues spread out the map. Unfortunately, they are not all the same artist. Germany has Ed Sheeran, Finland and Hungary Calvin Harris, and Iceland has Hozier. This is one example showing that my color generation algorithm for artists is not working very well. It might be late to change it though. I will only hope those three artists will not become very popular at the same time.

In summary, as of 22nd of December 2014, here is the top artists situation in Europe. Let’s wait and see what 2015 will bring to all of those.