Sunday, 25 May 2008

Snap - Rhythm Is A Dancer - back in the charts thanks to the Long Tail of itunes and views on YouTube

Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap is back in the UK Top 40 at number 36. The track has not been officially re-released, it has gained a new lease of life after being featured in a new TV ad.

The Radio 1 chart show presenters Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates theorised that the current chart success was based on downloads after 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' was used in the TV ad for Drench water, with Brains from Thunderbirds dancing to the track.

'Rhythm Is A Dancer' is also featured in the current BBC Sound Index and the Sound Index results show success of the song is 100% based on itunes downloads (an explanation of the BBC Sound Index is here -

Colour coding underneath the listing shows the contributory factors and 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' is entirely pink, showing that its ranking in the BBC Sound Index is exclusively down to itunes downloads:

Overall 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' is positioned at number 70 on the worldwide BBC Sound Index with Snap! appearing at position 135 in the artist Sound Index. If the BBC Sound Index is filtered by category, 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' is ranked significantly higher - currently the 4th most popular 'House' track:

The BBC Sound Index also indicates that 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' is popular on YouTube too. The video is currently the 22nd most viewed UK video in May with over 300,000 views:

This YouTube success is a direct result of the inclusion in the Drench water / Brains from Thuderbirds ad which can be viewed here:

The interesting thing about 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' re-charting is that it is user generated success, rather than in response to a co-ordinated re-release. There were many examples of 80's ad campaigns that extended into music with tactical re-releases of songs like 'The Joker' or developing new bands like Babylon Zoo, however these were initiatives instigated by record companies and the associated advertiser. The momentum behind 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' is bottom up rather than top down and, whether anticipated or not, it is viral buzz tapping into the itunes long tail, with the audience leading things rather than the music / advertising industries.

This example also shows how buzz trackers and initiatives like the BBC Sound Index can give more insight into how viral / word of mouth develops.

Footnote: Full details of the Drench ad (with high resolution files) can be seen here:

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