Triple J Hottest 100: Am I Hot Or Not?

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Back in October 2010 I spent a day listening to Nova 106.9fm.

In only eight hours (a working day, rather than the whole 24 hours) the 110 songs that were played by Nova included the following five songs:

Angus and Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane
Little Red – Rock It (the most played song on Nova that day with four plays)
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – Dance The Way I Feel
Birds Of Tokyo – Plans
Cee Lo Green – Fuck You!

So five of the top 10 songs in triple’s j’s countdown have been on heavy rotation on Nova.

In addition, it played the following two songs by acts that had other songs in triple j’s Top 10:

Mark Ronson – Bang Bang Bang
Art vs Science – Parlez Vous Francais?

It wouldn’t be much a surprise, given the very mainstream appeal of their music, if Boy & Bear, The Wombats and Adrian Lux were also on Nova’s playlist but just not played in the eight hours I was listening.

In fact if you look at the whole Hottest 100, 33 of the songs (allowing for multiple entries by the same act) were by acts who were played during a random day on Nova in October 2010, and of the 110 songs played on Nova, 45 were by acts in triple j’s list (again allowing for multiple song plays by the same band, i.e. Little Red’s ‘Rock It’ getting played four times in eight hours). So for all the wags thinking they were being humorous by tweeting and re-tweeting that the Hottest 100 would mean that Nova could add another 100 songs to its playlist, it’s way too late for that.

So what’s the point of triple j? Why does Australia need a tax-funded radio station that plays the same songs and bands as a commercial radio station? Sure, you can argue that triple j is breaking these bands before they get picked up by commercial radio but given the mainstream appeal of these bands and their major label affiliations, this would more than likely be happening anyway. If triple j didn’t have the high rotation playlist it does it’s not like commercial radio would struggle to find music to play. And it’s not like triple j would be short of songs to play; there are plenty of bands, a near endless supply of songs, that triple j could play that commercial radio wouldn’t touch with a barge pole, including more Australian acts than they would know what to do with. In my opinion, this is what triple j should be doing.

Spending the whole day listening to the Hottest 100 Countdown it wasn’t a case of being morally outraged or a case of “what is this noise? What is this rubbish?”, the sort of comments I used to get from my parents if they ever heard any of the music I was listening to back when I was in triple j’s age demographic. It was much more a case of boredom; so much of what was played was just plain dull. Looking at the Top 10 again, a fair chunk of it is music that my 60-something parents would quite enjoy. I could even see them buying an Angus And Julia Stone CD.  This can’t be a very good position for a radio station that exists for a youth market to be in, can it?

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