Machine Shop: Hype Machine Team Blog

On Chart Integrity

We’ve recently made some changes to the popular page so that it reflects the number of people who’ve favorited the track in the past three days.

Shortly after we made the change, we were alerted by the Sweet Touch blog about an artist (or their team) potentially altering the charts.  We then started reviewing account activity across the entire site and were able to confirm this and find other bands and blogs engaging in similar activity.

We found several artists (or their representatives) and blogs creating numerous accounts on the site and favoriting their tracks to get higher visibility in the charts. Because we’ve only recently switched to a chart based on the number of favorites, their efforts were not fruitful, however.  We’ve locked the accounts we found doing this and suspended tracking blogs we’ve detected contributing.

We’ve also taken some extra measures to prevent this in the future.  If you have feedback on measures you think will be effective, feel free to write using our contact form. The integrity of what ends up on the Hype Machine is paramount, so we welcome more ideas and constructive criticism.

Finally, here is a list of artists (or their managers, promoters, interns, determined fans, there is no way to ultimately know) who we believe have attempted to alter the charts on the Hype Machine. We thought we’d publish this list to let everyone make their own judgments about quality, integrity and marketing strategies:

[Update 07/07/2009: List of artists removed, see this post for details]

The new Popular page

Having reviewed feedback and site activity in the past couple of months, we’ve just published a change to our Popular page.

Here is what’s on the page now:
Popular (default view) – the most favorited tracks from the past 3 days.  Once  a track is older than 3 days, it will not appear on this list.
Popular Last Week – the most favorited tracks of the previous week.

What changed?
The previous version of the Popular page offered two views: a view based on the number plays & blog post clicks and a view based on the number of favorites.  We found that determining popularity by the number of favorites made the process more transparent and easier for everyone to understand — what do you think?

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