It’s no secret that relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom, particularly with regard to England and Ireland, have been somewhat turbulent down through the years. Though in recent years with the situation in the North of Ireland becoming much safer than what it once was, the negative aspects of the relationship don’t tend to stretch further beyond citizens of both countries not wanting to see the other do well in sport. For the most part, the cultures between the two islands isn’t a whole of a lot that different. With religion playing less and less of an important role within the societies of Ireland and the UK and a wider acceptance of each nation’s sports in the two countries, GAA being played and televised in Britain and League of Ireland soccer team competing in the Champions League competition, the two countries seem to be embracing each other all the more in recent times. Even the Irish and British charts on Spotify seem to mimic each other quite closely. Why is this? The Power of Information.
Information is a vital component of how the economy functions. The flow of information within the economy makes individuals aware of goods and services and once they are aware of them and willing to buy them, consumption will occur and the economy will grow. If there is no flow of information, then individuals are not aware of goods and services and even if they are willing to buy them they cannot because they are not aware of them. In economics, this market failure is referred to as information asymmetry. It is this power of information that means that the Irish and British charts tend to be very similar to one another.
One aspect of our culture that has joined Ireland and the UK together for years has been our shared use of the English language, which leads us to watch the same television programmes as our British neighbours. Including music television programmes like MTV UK and Chart Show. This means we receive a very similar amount of information with regard to music and this results in the similarities between the music consumption between the two nations. To show the similarities between the two I will show the Spotify top 20 streamed songs as of 13:51 12/06/2017
The similarities between the two charts can be seen above in the two tables, out of the top 20 songs in British chart 15 of them appear in the top 20 of the Irish chart. Obviously the sites can’t mimic each other identically due to various domestic mediums of information flow in the two islands like local radio stations that citizens in either islands may not have access to.
There is also the factor of Britain having more power with regard to broadcasting as English, Welsh and Scottish people probably don’t sit down to the Late Late show as often as Irish people may sit down to the Graham Nortan show. This means that certain Irish bands, like Picture This, may struggle to get as much success in the UK despite having achieved a lot of success in Ireland. However, British bands who gain a lot of success in Britain and maybe appear on British Television through music programmes like Jools Holland or the British chart shows or televised festival appearances will generally receive a certain level of success in Ireland as well just as a result of their success in Britain.
By Daragh O’Leary