How our charts are calculated

So we’ve had a few people ask us how we calculate our Top 100+1 and Top 20+1 charts. Here’s the gist of how it’s done.

New Releases

The Top 100+1 chart is comprised of the most played new releases at the station for the year. A single, demo, EP, or album is considered a new release for the first two months since arriving at the station. New releases are put in a separate section of the music library, making it easy for announcers to discover the new music at the station.

Plays are only counted towards the charts for these first two months while it is a new release. Otherwise, we would have the unfair situation where music that is released in January would have a much better chance of doing well in the chart than something released at the end of the year.

Logging Sheets

logging-sheetAll announcers are required to fill out a logging sheet each show, listing the music they play. Logging sheets serve several important roles at the station. Firstly, they are used in our paperwork with APRA to decide how artists are paid for their music being played on air. Secondly, they are used by us to ensure we are meeting the quotas enshrined in our Promise of Performance. Finally, they are used to calculate how much play each new release is getting. All the logging sheets are tallied at the end of each week. These results are used to produce our Top 20+1 charts. At the end of the year, all of these weekly play counts are summed up, giving us the Top 100+1 chart.

Releases, Not Songs

The charts at Three D are calculated for releases, not songs.The main reason for this is that Three D doesn’t have a rotation or any playlists – the announcers can play whatever they want. This results in us playing most of the songs on any release, rather than just the lead singles. There’s no way we would get definitive winners if we tried to make a chart based on songs.

No Magic, Just Numbers

So that’s pretty much it. There are some weird cases, such as if a band sends us a pre-release copy of an EP, then the final version a few months later. Obviously it is unfair if the release has 4 months worth of plays counted towards it. In practice, these situations rarely affect the charts, and we deal with issues like this on a case-by-case basis. However, this is how we calculate all the charts here at Three D. There’s no magic, just mathematics, and a lot of logging sheets.

3 thoughts on “How our charts are calculated

  1. Sam Arman

    We were having some discussions listening to the 101 and had a couple of questions.

    1) What are the actual numbers? About how many plays are required for number 1?, number 50? 100?

    2) What about positive feedback from the top 20 + 1? Does this artificial inflate some tracks?


    1. MichaelM Post author

      Hi Sam

      The actual numbers required to get into the chart vary from week to week, and year to year. Regardless, I don’t have the numbers in front of me to give any hints. Besides, I think some mystery around the chart is still important 😉

      Songs played in the Top 20+1 show are not counted towards the play counts for the Top 100+1 show, so no, there isn’t a positive feedback loop there. This would be a big problem. For example, when I host the Top 20+1 show I allocate around 5 minutes per release. If all the songs are short, I usually play a couple songs, if they are long, then I will only play one. This would unevenly affect the charts, and we would be left with a Top 100+1 full of 2 minute punk songs! To avoid all this, the Top 20+1 logging sheets are simply excluded from the Top 100+1.

      Of course, doing well in the Top 20+1 show is a good indicator of whether a release will do well in the Top 100+1.



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