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Columbia Business Prof CoAuthors Study of How Pop Songs Become Hits

first_imgColumbia Business Prof Co-Authors Study of How Pop Songs Become Hits Building a quality song doesn’t exactly mean it will become a hit single, but there are ways to predict how it’s possible. Columbia Business School looked further into the hit-making algorithm songwriters can take note of, but it is hardly a guarantee it will work.In a new American Sociological Review paper entitled “What Makes Popular Culture Popular? Product Features and Optimal Differentiation in Music,” co-authors Michael Mauskapf, a CBS Assistant Professor of Management, and Noah Askin, an INSEAD Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, found that all top-charting anthems share one attribute: they balance familiarity and novelty. In other words: songs have to be bold, but not too bold and predictable, but not too predictable, lest they totally alienate or bore listeners to tears.The duo used music intelligence platform The Echo Nest to analyze the key, mode, and tempo of over 26,000 songs. According to Askin, “The songs that reach the highest echelons of the charts bear some similarity to other popular songs that are out at the same time, but they must be unique in certain ways in order to differentiate themselves.” Mauskapf adds, “We found that songs with a somewhat below average typicality score tended do better on the Hot 100.” They also accounted for non-musical factors, such as previous chart success, the cachet of an artist’s team, a particular artist’s “star factor,” and marketing budget. While these elements are certainly important, the researchers seem to agree that “hit song science” is ineffectual at best.Mauskapf explains, “It’s very difficult to predict what kinds of songs other musicians will release, and when audiences will find them to be “optimally distinct.” Askin adds, “What becomes popular next is likely to be slightly differentiated from the last round of hits, leading to a constant evolution of what is popular. Popularity is a moving target, but the context always remains relevant. This is at least as much art as it is science.” Last Updated Sep 21, 2017 by Jonathan PfefferFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail regions: New York Citycenter_img About the AuthorJonathan PfefferJonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.View more posts by Jonathan Pfeffer RelatedStanford Finds Clear Link Between Personalities & Musical PreferencesStanford’s Graduate School of Business published an article last week on the startling connection between musical preferences and personalities revealed in a new paper, entitled “The Song Is You: Preferences for Musical Attribute Dimensions Reflect Personality,” co-authored by Stanford assistant professor of organizational behavior Michal Kosinski, music psychologist and lead…August 4, 2016In “Featured Region”Forced Good Behavior Isn’t Good, According to Columbia – New York NewsLet’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from New York City business schools this week. Columbia Business School: Mandated Corporate Good Behavior Hurts Bottom Line & Reduces Efforts to “Do Good” – CBS Newsroom New research from Columbia Business School professor Shivaram Rajgopal finds that mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility…May 15, 2018In “Featured Home”The Reason Digital Ads Seem So Personal, According to Columbia Business School ResearchAd optimization, at its core, was always about effectively persuading human emotion. Those consumer habits, according to new research from the Columbia Business School, can be traced right down to individual digital footprint, helping “people overcome their human limitations.” In new research entitled “Psychological Targeting as an Effective Approach to Digital…December 7, 2017In “Featured Region”last_img read more

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