News Apr 09, 2015

Iceland Has the ‘Most Wanted’ Music in the World

With popular artists like Bjork and Of Monsters and Men, it’s no surprise that Iceland ranks #1.

Photo Credit:  Matt Eisman 

According to The Echo Nest, an audio fingerprinting service, Icelanders create the most wanted music in the world. In order to come up with this result, The Echo Nest’s principal engineer and data alchemist, Glenn McDonald, says he “took The Echo Nest’s ten thousand most up-and-coming songs by relatively unknown artists, found the artists responsible for them, determined those artists’ countries, counted the number of artists per country, and then prorated the counts by population to create a ranking of countries by proportional discovery share – and then I did the same again, ranking by hotness instead of discovery.”

The Echo Nest’s computers spent a significant amount of time scouring the web to figure out what people were listening to and talking about. The results where then converted into a complex mathematical equation that fed them this result. In general, the Scandinavian countries were at the top of The Echo Nest’s list:

With popular artists and bands like Of Monsters and Men, Kaleo, Retro Stefson, and Sigur Rós, it’s no surprise that Iceland ranks number one on the list of the most popular music. Famed Icelandic musician Björk was even named to TIME’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Marina Abramovic said: “As an artist, she’s always on the edge of everything, but it’s not trendy because even when she is working with the latest technology, fashion, images or sounds, she is always offering her own, deeply personal world.”

Scandinavian countries claimed the top four spots on The Echo Nest’s Discovery list:

  1. Iceland
  2. Sweden
  3. Finland
  4. Norway
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Denmark
  7. Ireland
  8. United States
  9. Australia
  10. Netherlands

With a population of just 329,000, this a surprising accomplishment for Iceland. Maybe it’s Iceland’s beautiful bright summers and long dark winters that foster creativity, or perhaps it’s the sublime landscapes that inspire the imagination. Whatever it is, it seems to be working! The Echo Nest also found that Iceland produces songs that get the most buzz – what they refer to as the “hottest” music. Don’t believe us? Click here and take a look for yourself!