MTV Launches Top 20 Music Videos Based on Social Data

While music videos played a major part in my childhood entertainment universe -- thanks for all the memories, Biz Markie and Whitesnake -- I kind of assumed that kids nowadays are totes over the genre. But it turns out I was mistaken, though some things have indeed changed: instead of assiduously compiling VHS libraries categorized alphabetically by “artist” (I use the term broadly), they are sharing their fave vids online via social media.

All that social sharing provides the data that powers MTV’s new Your MTV Top 20 chart, a global countdown-type list based on fan interactions with MTV’s online properties. That activity includes sharing, liking, and tweeting from MTV’s Web sites, social platforms, and apps, ultimately drawing on over 60 MTV networks globally. The chart algorithm also incorporates data tracking “artist and song hotness” from The Echo Nest, a “music intelligence” outfit that provides media companies with information about listener preferences (acquired by Spotify earlier this year).

The chart will be updated every five minutes, the idea being that fans can basically “vote up” their favorite videos with more social sharing. Updates will continue until a final version of each week’s chart is published every Monday at 12 noon EST. The chart is currently available  in English, German, Italian, Spanish, and French, and other languages are coming soon.

Bruce Gillmer, executive vice president for music, talent programming and events at Viacom International Media Networks explained: “Music videos are hotter than ever and fans have a huge appetite for them across MTV’s platforms. They’re also highly competitive via social media when demonstrating their allegiance to their favorite artists… Your MTV Top 20 is a fantastic new vehicle for fans to interact with and view videos from MTV’s biggest global artists.”

The first edition of the chart, published on Monday, July 7, predictably features a bunch of people I have never heard of, confirming what I have suspected for years -- namely how truly old and culturally out of touch I really am. The number one spot goes to Ariana Grande’s “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea), which for me personally summons images of Iggy Pop and Arianna Huffington having a dance off.

But some names are familiar: I like that Lady Gaga -- she’s the one with the wild outfits, what a hoot! -- and the Coldplay has some catchy tunes. Also that Katy Perry seems like a nice girl, and the One Direction are such a nice clean-cut group of boys. Not sure about the Parawhores, though: it just sounds so dangerous!

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