Google just published another very interesting analysis and visualization of one of its data sets. In this case, they have processed data from their Google Play store. Based on the number of downloads and popularity, they have visualized on a time axis the “relevance” and “popularity” of each music genre as time progressed, putting together what they call Google’s Music Timeline.

I really love this kind of projects at Google. At first sight, you might think it is useless. But I think it is extremely interesting and very useful. Moreover, I love it allows you to “zoom in” to see the timeline of the sub-genres within a given genre. For example, I gave it a try with Metal. The result shows many interesting trends… including the raise and fall of Hair Metal. The good old times of good rock!


The analysis also shows examples of the most relevant albums of each music style as time progressed. Here is were I realized that this analysis is based on a quite incomplete data base. For example, I saw no mention of any Metallica album. Not even when zooming into Metal. There are no AC/DC albums to be found either.

All in all, very interesting given the data set it has been derived from. And definitively a yummy candy for us music lovers!


There are AC/DC albums! But the system does not consider them among the most influential ones. Things would have been differently if I had worked on that project! 🙂

By the way, another very interesting application is to search for one of your favorite bands and see how their popularity grew or decrease or fluctuated. I am attaching the example with one of the greatest punk rock bands ever (NOFX) (how is it possible they are declining?!?!) and probably the best electronic music band ever that was not rightfully recognized until they released a poppy album last year (Daft Punk) (yes, that catchy song by Kanye West had a catchy part that was actually by Daft Punk and many did not know until last year).