With this year’s triple j Hottest 100 being the biggest on record (a 15% increase from 2017), Australia is still feeling the wake of the world’s biggest publicly voted music poll.

Not only can we expect to see the extra spins, streams and downloads directly affecting this Saturday’s ARIA Singles Chart, we can expect a few international deals to be inked off the back of local artists’ placings – the list was featured in Billboard after all.

But with all the hype around Australia’s most beloved songs and artists, a cursory glance at the Most Played songs on triple j last year offers an interesting finding:

None of the Top 5 Most Played songs on triple j in 2018 made the Hottest 100.

Using the recently shuttered J Play, which tracks every song triple j plays, ‘raingurl’ by Yaeji, ‘I Can’t Quit’ by The Vaccines, ‘Loving Is Easy’ by Rex Orange County, ‘Stir Fry’ by Migos and ‘Delusion’ by Stonefield didn’t make this year’s Hottest 100.

most-played-2018 songs
Source: J Play

The 2019 Hottest 100’s Top 5 featured tracks from Ocean Alley, FISHER, Travis Scott, Childish Gambino and Amy Shark.

Amy Shark’s #5 placing on the Hottest 100, ‘I Said Hi’, was the 13th Most Played song on triple j in 2018 with 156 airings.

But while Ocean Alley were the 5th Most Played Artist on triple j last year with 604 airings, the Northern Beaches band didn’t land one song in the Top 20 Most Played.

Despite this, Ocean Alley’s top spot on the Hottest 100 made them the first band since Powderfinger back in 1999 to bookend the entire countdown, but also the first band to ever bookend the Top 10.

Hottest 100 Top 10

10. ‘Knees’ – Ocean Alley
9. ‘Dinosaurs’ – Ruby Fields
8. ‘when the party’s over’ – Billie Eilish
7. ‘Groceries’ – Mallrat
6. ‘Be Alright’ – Dean Lewis
5. ‘I Said Hi’ – Amy Shark
4. ‘This Is America’ – Childish Gambino
3. ‘SICKO MODE’ – Travis Scott
2. ‘Losing It’ – FISHER
1. ‘Confidence’ – Ocean Alley

Elsewhere FISHER, Travis Scott and Childish Gambino didn’t place in both the Most Played Songs or Artists lists for 2018.

Other Hottest 100 Top 10 acts not to place in the Most Played Songs list include: Dean Lewis (#6 with ‘Be Alright’), Mallrat (#7 with ‘Groceries’), Billie Eilish (#8 with ‘when the party’s over’) and Ruby Fields (#9 with ‘Dinosaurs’).

Watch the video for ‘Dinosaurs’ below:

Play

Perhaps what’s most telling about the missing Most Played acts from the Hottest 100 is the strong argument to show triple j is doing its job of connecting with young people. This is a poll, not a playlist. It recognises the faves but not the actual plays.

The Hottest 100 may be the world’s biggest public-voted music poll, but triple j’s target demographic is 18-24. With a record number of votes cast this time around, and with none of the Top 5 Most played tracks making into the poll, triple j is excelling at its job to connect its listeners with non-mainstream music.

It could also be said that with a weekly audience of 1.8 million, but with over 2.7 million votes for this year’s poll, the countdown is far bigger than triple j itself. This means triple j themselves are losing influence over their own countdown, a surprising but ultimately purposeful feat.

As Nick Findlay now enters his third year running the show as Music Director, he’s clearly doing right by his listeners, while still ensuring the Hottest 100 lives up to its name.

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