Broadcast Music Datasets

It can be hard to find information on broadcast music, but there are a few examples that can be used for statistical analysis. There are also various commercial sources that charge a fee (not listed here). Radio playlists can also be found in some historical newspapers and magazines, although this can be difficult to extract. Wikipedia is often a useful source for details of particular radio or TV shows (see examples below). 

Desert Island DiscsDetails of all editions of the long running BBC radio programme since 1942, including information on the castaways and their choices of records and other luxuries to take with them to a desert island.  See this article, which also contains a link to the data in spreadsheet format.
Radio Times ArchiveListings information which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009 (after which the Radio Times became an independent magazine). Searchable by programmes, people, dates and editions. Tricky to sample.
Top of the Pops ArchiveThis unofficial website has details of all editions of Top of the Pops from 1964 to 2006.
The Voice UKDetails of each series of the reality TV series are listed on Wikipedia, and can be readily downloaded. See this article.
The X FactorAnother example of a reality TV show with details on Wikipedia. See this article.
RAJAR Radio AudiencesFree quarterly statistics on UK radio listening since 1999 (more detail available to subscribers)
Eurovision Song ContestDetails of the songs, votes, scores and results from every contest since the first in 1956.
Cite this article as: Gustar, A.J. 'Broadcast Music Datasets' in Statistics in Historical Musicology, 8th May 2021,