The Secret Formula Behind FiveThirtyEight's 'Songs of Summer' Playlist

We've out data-nerded the data nerds and their "Songs of Summer" playlist!
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We've out data-nerded the data nerds and their "Songs of Summer" playlist!
Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 2.09.09 PM

I don't know what I was expecting when I saw that data-nerd site FiveThirtyEighttweet that they had a "Songs of the Summer" playlist. Was Nate Silver jumping on Tiny Victories' latest album like I had? Doesn't Carl Bialik seem like a dude who would be into Scandanavian indie rock?

Apparently not. However, with the data presented (aka the playlist), there is something very interesting that we can glean about FiveThirtyEight and the people behind it. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at said data. #objectivity!

This is FiveThirtyEight's Songs of Summer playlist...

"Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz
"Rude" - Magic!
"Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
"Problem" - Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea
"Latch" - Disclosure, Sam Smith
"Fancy" - Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX
"Summer" - Calvin Harris
"Maps" - Maroon 5
"Classic" - MKTO
"Really Don't Care" - Demi Lovato, Cher Lloyd

And this is the current Billboard Top 10 (as of 8/3)...

"Rude" - Magic!
"Fancy" - Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX
"Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
"Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz
"Problem" - Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea
"Maps" - Maroon 5
"Latch" - Disclosure, Sam Smith
"All Of Me" - John Legend
"Chandelier" - Sia
"Summer" - Calvin Harris

You'll notice that 8 of the 10 songs from Billboard's Top 10 make it on FiveThirtyEight's list (with the two exceptions, "Classic" by MKTO and "Really Don't Care by Demi Lovato" appearing at #26 and #30, respectively). Now this is an incredibly fascinating situation, as the average age of FiveThirtyEight's staff rockets well above pop music's target audience's, meaning this is statistically significant enough to promote a hypothesis that there is another explanation for the playlists' similarities.

And in my professional opinion, the most likely causes are:

- No one at FiveThirtyEight is aware that there is music on the internet and they still have the office radio turned to Hot 99.5, home of today's hits.

- The boss' niece is the "administrative assistant," and believes part of her duties include being the office DJ.

- Nate Silver's babyface is actually because he's really 22 years old.

- They used the same formula as the Billboard Top 10.

- Their social media marketing team told them they needed a Spotify presence so they just let an intern do it.

- This is an elaborate prank to show those who don't get it...something?

FiveThirtyEight has officially, after countless articles like "Group Of Liberal New Yorkers Want To Legalize Weed" and "The Burrito Bracket’s First Round Comes to a Close With a Major Upset," just finally given up.

While there are a plethora of possible answers, I am of the utmost confidence that with further examination, we'll be able to prove exactly why FiveThirtyEight shares the same musical taste with these people:

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#data!