It appears that Mixcloud aren’t keen to talk to me about Derrick May. They said that “the appropriate staff” would look into this and take action. At the time of publishing, May’s page on Mixcloud Select remains online.
An email to CEO Nico Perez, pictured above, remains unanswered. A number of other people who’ve contacted Mixcloud about this have received the same response. It’s a crying shame that a site which chooses to emphasise its legal credentials turns a blind eye to this man.
So, I thought I’d have a look at some other things on the website. Like their charts. I’ve never quite understood how they work. They don’t seem to go solely by the number of plays a mix or show or whatever gets. So how do they calculate them?
According to the Good Room blog to whom Nico gave an interview to five years ago…
“I can’t reveal the exact formula, but it’s a combination of popularity and how engaged listeners are.”
This is the most vague answer that Perez could possibly offer. Popularity and engaged listeners? Aren’t they essentially the same thing? Without going into a little more detail here, he seriously sounds like it’s saying it’s two things – but the second point is identical to the first.
Looking for information elsewhere about Mixcloud’s mysterious algorithm only baffles me further. It’s easier to find out the numbers for Joe Biden’s nuclear football than it is on how they work this out.
Their own website gives a slightly more helpful answer than their own boss was able to rustle up.
“A show’s position in the genre’s chart is determined by the number of favourites, shares and listens the show gets and is generated on a weekly basis.”
Which suggests to me that how far and wide you can spread it on social media is a factor as well. The more traffic you send in Mixcloud’s direction, the higher the place they are prepared to give you.
Here was the house chart top 10 a little earlier today…
And it’s at this point that these explanations all start to become a little meaningless. Because when you start to look up all those numbers, not only does no pattern appear to come up that I can see, some of the shows display no numbers at all.
For example, Graeme Park’s radio show – and a good one it is, too – doesn’t show you any information. That seems to be because he’s signed up to Mixcloud Select, and that this allows you to conceal it.
Now, there is no suggestion whatsoever of foul play on the part of Graeme Park here. Since Mixcloud Pro – of which Select is a part – allows you to do this, it’s absolutely his right to do so and his choice must be respected.
The problem is that this means there’s all sorts of gaps in the data as a result. Which makes it utterly impossible to come up with a complete picture.
So, if anyone out there can offer more of an insight into this, or perhaps knows something I’ve missed, feel free to get in touch with me.