Posted by Jon Van Lew on April 23, 2016

A KCRW Data Site

eightyninenine.com is the cleverest url I could come up with for my new site. It’s in reference to both 89.9, the broadcast frequency in LA for KCRW and the (widely popular?) data/statistics site fivethirtyeight.com.

The site exists because KCRW, aside from their world-renowned music programming, is also pretty savvy in the digital world too. On KCRW.com they’ve got upwards of 20 years of in-studio performances hosted on their site – and, to the point, track listings from all their radio shows over that same span of time. When I found that data, I decided it would be a fun project to pull it all into a single database so that lots of fun data visualization could be done to it – thus eightyninenine.com was born.

As this is being done as a hobby, I’m hoping to roll out features slowly in time. The data KCRW made available goes back to January of 1992. By default, when you visit the site, that entire database is exposed to you and you can see the all-time most-played artists and songs and the dominance of some hosts. But also available to you is a datepicker field so you can pull out subsets of arbitrary time frames, like songs from the last week or last year. What I want to get at is a kind of api where you can send in more complex search querys like, “give me all songs played in August during even-numbered years” if you were strange enough to desire that.

Another feature I’d like to get soon is to have some link to youtube or google music so when you’re looking at a song’s statistics you can also listen to a snippet or at least search their libraries to listen to it on your own.

But, nevertheless, as a start the site exposes pretty interesting trends in music play. Take a poke through it and if you’ve got suggestions or issues, please let me know!


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