What if there was a Billboard Charts for the music people really listened to and talked about on the Web. We Are Hunted wants to be that definitive online music chart. The service monitors the most popular songs on iLike, BitTorrent, Last.fm, MySpace Music, and other Web music services, as well as discussions on Twitter, blogs, and press sites. A collaboration between Australian news aggregation site WotNews and digital music marketers Native Digital, We Are Hunted uses a whole bunch of sentiment and semantic analysis, along with clustering algorithms to come up with the top 99 songs of the day. It then presents these in a 3 X 3 grid of album art for each song, which can be played in its entirety on the site. (The songs are streamed from YouTube or the artists’ sites).
The songs themselves are pretty catchy for the most part. Here are the top nine:
- “Corner” by Embarrassing
- “Life In The Future_M…” by Voxtrot
- “Whispering Your Name” by Alison Moyet
- “Tunisia Bambaata (mercury Remix)” by DJ Mehdi
- “Cat State Comity” by Mazes
- “This Tainted Love” by DJ Zebra
- “Whoa Billy” by Lucky Soul
- “Saddle Up” by the Boy Least
- “The Strangers” by St. Vincent
You won’t find these names on the Billboard 100, but people are listening to them on the Web.
My initial reaction to We Are Hunted is that it delivers on what it is intended to be: a discovery mechanism for new music. Where it falls short is in its features and UI. It forces you to click on each song to play it, instead of letting you listen to an entire grid or the entire chart as a play list (update: this has been fixed). You can log in via Facebook Connect and leave a comment on a song, and buy each song on iTunes, but you can’t do much else. And sometimes a song won’t play. But if you like the Hype Machine, then you might want to check out We Are Hunted when the songs in your iPod begin to seem old.