Back in the 1930s when music charts first appeared, songs were ranked on not how many times they were played on the radio or sold in record stores, but by how many times they were played on jukeboxes in bars, restaurants, truck stops, and other public places.
Vast networks of jukebox servicemen took note of the player counters inside the machines which told them the songs could stay and which needed to be swapped out. Play numbers were then reported back to labels and trade publications. Charts were constructed from that data. (Those numbers were subject to all kinds of manipulation and fakery, but never mind.)
Sounds quaint, right?
Jukeboxes still exist but in a much more technologically advanced form. Maybe you’ve seen digital installations by companies like TouchTones. It just released its annual year-end results. They offer some really interesting insight into certain genres of music and their fans.
Most-played jukebox artists of 2018:
1. Chris Stapleton
3. Lynyrd Skynyrd
5. Kid Rock
Most-played jukebox songs of 2018:
1. “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton
2. “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks
3. “Drinkin’ Problem” by Midland
4. “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle
5. “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen
Get more numbers from TouchTones here.