Anatomy of A Triple J Hottest 100 Winner

We look at what turns a successful song from a contender into a Hottest 100 countdown winner.

Thu, 15 Dec, 12:00 AM

Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown for 2016 will deliver plenty of vintage beats, quality listening and certified bangers, so it's no wonder punters are excited all around Australia!

But what are the key ingredients that make up a Hottest 100 winner? We examine the pedigree of past number one picks to determine what it takes for a tune to reach that elusive top spot.

Although voting only opened last Saturday, 10 December, there's already been plenty of action in the betting markets. Read on for our analysis and how to take advantage of the current odds.

Written by Tim Alexander


A song's genre is first and foremost to consider. It's no surprise Rock dominated the early Hottest 100s, but has only won a single countdown over the past 10 years, with Kings of Leon's Sex on Fire in 2008.

Since 2006, Alternative/Indie tunes have topped the list on five separate occasions, while Folk music took out top spot three times, most recently with Vance Joy's Riptide in 2014.

Only one hip-hop song has ever topped the countdown since 1993, namely Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's Thrift Shop in 2012, meaning Illy's Papercuts and the Hilltop Hoods' 1955 are out to even that score this year.


Ever since the end of the nineties, Australian songs have punched well above their weight in the countdown, peaking in 2014 with a total of 59 home-grown tunes included in the Hottest 100.

In fact, 2015 marked the third consecutive year that a local act, being The Reuben's Hoops, placed first in the Hottest 100. That equaled the record set between 1999 and 2001 and Australians are aiming for an unprecedented four wins in a row in 2016.

Flying the flag for the international acts is The Weeknd's Starboy at 16.00 best odds with William Hill, but with seven of the top ten songs from down-under, the streak of Aussie winners will be tough to crack.


Let's get technical. Looking at songs on previous countdowns, crunching the stats on average duration and beats per minute (BPM) reveals plenty about this year's potential winner.

In particular, over the past ten years the average song has had a duration of 233 seconds and a BPM of 117. While song duration on the Hottest 100 has remained relatively stable, average BPM have recently trended upwards and peaked at 121 in 2014.

That means punters should expect the 2016 countdown winner to roughly match up with these numbers, and Flume's hot favourite, Never Be Like You at 235 seconds and 120 BPM looks pretty spot on.


A tune's performance on the ARIA charts, including its peak position on the Australian billboards and total weeks spent charting, is a solid indication of countdown success.

In what will outrage the hipsters, there's only been a handful of winners that haven't featured on the mainstream charts. Since 2008, top spot on the Hottest 100 has never peaked lower than 21 and has spent an average 33 weeks on the billboards.

Despite never reaching the charts, Amy Shark's Adore sits third favourite in the market at 9.00 best odds with William Hill and will be looking to replicate 2007 winner, Knights of Cydonia from Muse, the last winner to come from left-field.


We’ve identified two tunes at juicy odds which satisfy plenty of the criteria from above. Could one of them spring a huge surprise and top Triple J's countdown?

As a Folk act, the genre certainly fits for Milky Chance's Cocoon and the song also holds up on a technical basis, with a duration of 254 seconds and 114 BPM. 34.00 best odds with William Hill may just be worth a flutter.

Another roughie that ticks the boxes is The Greatest from Australian singer-songwriter, Sia, peaking at number 2 on the billboards and is currently still charting after 13 weeks. 51.00 best odds with Sportsbet looks like serious value.


Two songs have been market darlings over the past week. They’ve enjoyed plenty of betting support and have seen their Hottest 100 odds shorten massively!

Tash Sultana's Jungle has come from nowhere to sit as second favourite at best odds of 7.00 with William Hill, but surprisingly hasn't made an appearance on the ARIA charts. It's certainly a banger though.

The trend is your friend and Drake's One Dance has been absolutely crunched in the market over the past week from 151.00 to 21.00 best odds with William Hill. Drizzy is another international looking to break the Australian's recent dominance of the Hottest 100, so watch this space!

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