TheVine story: “EXCLUSIVE: Have maths nerds predicted triple j’s Hottest 100…again?” January 2014

An exclusive story for TheVine looking at the return of The Warmest 100, an online statistical prediction of national youth broadcaster triple j’s annual Hottest 100 countdown. As late as the night before this story was published, Nick Drewe, the man behind The Warmest 100, had all but discounted repeating the success of his prediction of the 2012 countdown, which correctly identified 92 of the top 100 songs, regardless of order. Read the excerpt below or follow the link at the bottom of the page for the full story.


For the second year in succession national youth broadcaster triple j is in danger of having The Hottest 100, its annual countdown of listener-voted songs, blown open by an online statistical prediction.

The station battened the hatches on Monday afternoon as voting closed on The Hottest 100 2013. But last year’s joker in the pack, Nick Drewe, is back with The Warmest 100 and a new prediction of the countdown.

As late as Sunday morning, Drewe had all but abandoned the idea of trying to repeat his success of the 2012 countdown, in which he successfully predicted 92 of the songs that appeared in the final listing as well as accurately predicting the top three places. But an email from Chicago-based economist David Quach (who last year ran a series of statistical analyses on Drewe’s prediction) managed to change the online marketer’s mind.

“We realised pretty quickly triple j had removed all the social voting features for The Hottest 100 this year,” Drewe explained to TheVine on Sunday evening. “I thought, ‘Cool, we had fun last year. No need to go again this year.’”

But Quach, an Australian ex-pat economist with global information and measurement firm The Nielsen Company, had other ideas.

“I had a previous relationship with Nick after last year’s countdown,” Quach told TheVine earlier today. “But when I asked whether he was doing The Warmest 100 again this year he sent me a link to a Gizmodo story and I saw they weren’t doing anything, which was disappointing. I posted that link to my Facebook and I think a few other people were disappointed — I received a few comments.

“I guess I’d forgotten how much people enjoyed it [last year]. But that gave me the impetus to do a just-for-fun prediction. I was going to do a Top 10 prediction, based on just asking my friends to send me their votes.”

Quach’s plan didn’t go so well. Just four friends responded to his request, encouraging him to look on Facebook for more votes.

“Some people had cut and pasted their votes onto triple j’s Facebook page,” Quach said. “I thought, ‘OK.’ And then I got onto Twitter and found that loads of people were posting screenshots of what they’d voted for. I started collecting a few of those. I found about 300 people who had posted their votes on Twitter, and that was decent enough to make a prediction of the whole Hottest 100.”

For the full article, visit TheVine.

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