A software engineer whose computer algorithm predicts which songs will make the triple J’s hottest 100 annual countdown says this year’s predictions will be largely correct, despite a few challenges.
- 100 Warm Tunas collects the triple j The 100 hottest votes of social media posts
- Gang of Youths, Doja Cat and the Wiggles songs set to make top 10
- More diversity and more Australian acts expected in next countdown
Sydneysider Nick Whyte is in the seventh year of the project, which he calls 100 Warm Tunas – a fishy pun on the word air.
The 26-year-old says he declined offers from people wanting to buy the project or buy ad space on his website, and turned down an offer to sponsor a gambling company.
He says 100 Warm Tunas actually works with a little loss due to website and IT costs, but he doesn’t do it for money – it’s a passionate project.
It is not difficult to understand why there were financial offers on the table. Every year for the past six years, Mr. Whyte’s algorithm has succeeded in predicting about eight of the top 10 countdown songs, and has succeeded in predicting the number one song 67% of the time.
How were 100 lukewarm tuna born?
The first iteration of 100 Warm Tunas was conducted privately in early 2016, for the Hottest 100 of 2015. It successfully predicted the top three songs in the correct order and correctly guessed eight of the songs that were somewhere in the top. 10.
This was after Mr Whyte noticed that a triple j presenter had shared an image of their 100 hottest votes on Instagram, using the hashtag # hottest100.
Mr Whyte says he realized he could click on the hashtag to see images that other people had shared, and he quickly developed an algorithm that scanned and recorded those votes.
“It’s not about predicting number one for me. It’s about seeing how far I can go in the problem-solving process of the project.”
So how does the algorithm work?
The 100 Warm Tunas algorithm analyzes screenshots of the 100 Hottest Votes posted by people using the hashtag # hottest100 on public accounts Instagram and Twitter, as well as from a particular thread on Reddit.
People can also send their votes by direct message to 100 Warm Tunas on Instagram.
The algorithm analyzes the votes and adds them to its top 100 and top 200 song rankings, which are then updated on the 100 Warm Tunas website.
What songs should do well this year?
(Warning: 100 hottest potential spoilers to come)
As of this writing, 100 Warm Tunas predicts the top 10 will include songs like rockers from Sydney Gang of Youths, American rapper Doja Cat, and electronic band RÜFÜS DU SOL, as well as the Australian’s song Stay. The Kid LAROI with Canada’s Justin Bieber.
“There is still often an element of surprise when it comes to the countdown to the day. The songs are going to get mixed up a bit,” explained Whyte.
The obvious outlier in the predicted top 10, however, is a performance by Australian children’s entertainment icons The Wiggles, sitting in first place on 100 Warm Tunas at the time of writing.
Wait, the Wiggles could be in the hottest 100 ?!
Yes, the Wiggles’ cover of Tame Impala’s song Elephant, recorded for Like A Version in March of last year, should at least make the top 10.
The performance has over 3 million views on YouTube and inspired a campaign from an anonymous Twitter account that tweets daily to encourage people to vote for the song.
He even caught the attention of the Wiggles.
High-profile 100 expert Patrick Avenell has been interviewed on triple js on the Countdown for Years Prior, and says he doesn’t expect the Wiggles cover to win, but she could. beat the original Tame Impala version of Elephant, which came in at number seven on the Hottest 100 of 2012.
The Wiggles have never had a song on the Hottest 100, but Mr Avenell says that will likely change this year, and he hopes that will bring some lightness to the countdown.
“While it’s not technically a novelty song, it’s about as close to a novelty song as we can get in the Hottest 100, which I think is good.”
The highest spot achieved by a cover of Like A Version was Denzel Curry’s version of the 2019 Rage Against The Machine song Bulls On Parade, which reached number five.
More diversity and more Australian acts expected
Mr. Avenell expects the Hottest 100 of 2021 to feature a larger and more diverse artist base.
He also believes the countdown will likely break the record for most Australian acts in the Hottest 100, which stands at 66 acts recorded in the 2020 and 2016 countdowns.
“Triple j is really pushing Australian artists,” he said.
“There are some big international stars like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo who had popular records in 2021, but I think the top of the charts in particular is going to be absolutely filled with Australian artists.”
More artists are expected to be represented than ever before, while a strong performance of female solo acts is also expected.
This is due to what Mr. Avenell says is “an astronomical increase” in the number of female solo acts whose albums have become the triple J’s weekly album in recent years, and therefore enjoy more radio airing.
How accurate will 100 hot tuna be this year?
Mr Whyte says he expects this year’s 100 Hot Tuna forecast to be as accurate as previous countdowns, despite fewer people posting their votes publicly on social media in recent years.
Over 14,000 votes had been cast at the time of writing, as per previous countdowns.
“Despite decreasing sample size, precision has generally remained constant,” said Whyte.
“So far we’ve collected data at a rate similar to the hottest 100 of 2020, so expect to see around 1% of the total voter population within the hottest 100 days.”
Does predicting things spoil the countdown?
Mr Whyte says he’s aware that some people don’t want to know which songs should be in the Hottest 100, and everyone has a right to avoid potential spoilers.
“It’s a personal choice whether an individual feels the need to access my website, so if you don’t want spoilers, you just have to wait for the hottest 100 days,” he said. he declares.
“I love listening to the countdown for the day, comparing how far 100 Warm Tunas is compared to songs that play during the day.
“It’s a fun game for me.”
Voting for the 100 Hottest Triple Js of 2021 ends at 12:00 p.m. AEDT on Monday, January 17 via the triple j website.
The countdown takes place from 12 p.m. AEDT on Saturday January 22.