Social factors drive music selections

JasonKeyJasonKey BADministrator
edited January 2011 in Thought Required
By studying a body of information about music-downloading behavior, Krumme and colleagues Galen Pickard and Manuel Cebrian found that social cues could influence people to listen to samples of songs, but not necessarily to download them. They also suggested that the influence of social factors on a song's popularity diminishes over time, meaning that songs that rise to the top of download lists do that because they're better than ones that don't....

http://technologyreview.com/communications/26757/?p1=MstRcnt&a=f

First to post to the forum, so this seemed a good topic to start with ... Thoughts?

Comments

  • PatashuPatashu Simfiler
    edited November 2010
    You can't draw that as a conclusion, because even if ultimately people keep listening to songs because they like them, their selection in the first place is, on average, limited to the songs that are popular to begin with. It's self-perpetuating even when you take that study into account.

    "If a song doesn't do well at first, it may become invisible or unavailable, meaning that social cues surrounding its launch would still matter."
  • JasonKeyJasonKey BADministrator
    edited November 2010
    Chicken or the egg essentially?

    However, if coming out of the gate as it were, a song does poorly, I think they mean it has a harder time climbing out of the hole as social factors cast it in a negative light. Very cliquish like actually. First impression is nearly all that matters?
    Friendster .. the only social network anyone needs
  • PatashuPatashu Simfiler
    edited November 2010
    Let's put it this way: Do you really think that (insert song by Black Eyed Peas) is one of the best songs of all time?
  • JasonKeyJasonKey BADministrator
    edited November 2010
    I do not, however as their newest single gets played everywhere I am exposed to it more than I would be a song emo band Pink and Black ( fictional )

    Hence I am far more likely to respond less negatively to the peas when I hear it on the VMA's no matter how epic P&B's latest song may be. I feel like this study is more of a discussion about momentum being a major factor in a song's overall success, and that social factors play a huge part in predicting this.

    For instance the Peas are well liked. Their cover of song 'terrible awful song' is more successful than p&B's cover of same song even though pb's is far better ... Peas will win. Almost without fail.
    Friendster .. the only social network anyone needs
  • KINGKING Junior Member
    edited December 2010
    In a case like the Black Eyed Peas, the band is forgiven somewhat simply for their longevity. People seem to be more likely to accept artists that have proven their ability to survive through and adapt to fad changes. For example, even though a current artist like Kesha may be wildly popular, her cover of 'terrible awful song' might not be as popular as the Pea's cover just because the Peas have 15 years behind them. The same phenomenon occurs in Italian opera houses, where older singers are cheered on and newer though equally talented singers are treated like the intermission.

    Maybe public reception isn't just a factor of current popularity, but also of the band's ability to outlive their own era. It doesn't matter how much momentum an artist's snowball of popularity gains if they can't dodge a tree.
  • AuureliusAuurelius Junior Member
    edited January 2011
    I grew up listening to a very specific genre. I didn't even know other genres existed until I had reached the 6th grade. What got me into different genres was the idea that I didn't have to listen to the music I grew up with. There was no social code that said music is gender or race specific. I've never once listened to a song because everyone else liked it. It's not that I deliberately go out of my way to avoid mainstream music, but I hear what's out there and it's unappealing.

    So for a song to rise to the top of list because it's better than other songs, I do not necessarily believe that it's because they're better. People seem to conform with group opinion and ideas. For example... In the 80's and 90's, the punk and goth crowds wore the tight jeans. Black people made fun of them for it, jocks picked on them for it, and it was generally a negative look. Now it's 2011, and everyone wants these skinny jeans. It has nothing to do with whether or not they're better or comfortable. It's really just social conformity, at it's finest. As for more support evidence to my claims, Hip-Hop is getting popular. More and more white people, Hispanics, and other races are being sucked into the genre. But! How many blacks are listening to metal as their primary source of music? Black metal? Death metal? J-Pop? Etc? Songs from these categories don't make top of list because they aren't good enough, but because they are not part of the mainstream genre. Therefore, there is no conforming opinion on them.
  • ddrmaniacaaaddrmaniacaaa Member
    edited January 2011
    Auurelius;3750 said:
    I grew up listening to a very specific genre. I didn't even know other genres existed until I had reached the 6th grade. What got me into different genres was the idea that I didn't have to listen to the music I grew up with. There was no social code that said music is gender or race specific. I've never once listened to a song because everyone else liked it. It's not that I deliberately go out of my way to avoid mainstream music, but I hear what's out there and it's unappealing.
    Me too. I grew up listening to classic rock becuase my dad worked in a record store and owns over 500 classic rock cds, and over 1000 LPs. I had to listen to what he had until i was 15 and could buy my own music. I also grew up without a computer or internet access until 14 or so, and even then Youtube and the like did not exist. I think today's kids will branch out more from what is on the radio or television becuase of the resources available on the internet. I find it astounding how much information I can learn from a band i listened to 10 years ago, that i never knew, just from reading wikipedia.

    OP- I think they should have had a larger sample size of music because any one can sample 48 songs. Also, this article did not take into account illegal downloading and piracy. I find myself branching out to new music everyday becuase i don't have to pay for it. Torrent this, torrent that, and i eventually find some material that I want to squeeze onto my ipod or (brace yourselves) go buy the CD.

    I did agree with most of the article, though, such as the part about something being on the top of the list. Think about it: if someone came onto Thirdstyle for just one day, and played only one song, chances are they are going to play something at the top of the list (in our case, the newest songs.) I think the number of plays a song has would increase the chances that people give it a listen.

    I also agree that we get valuble opinions from others, and we trust our friends. I have only been into techno for a few years, as opposed to listening to rock and metal my whole life. When I first started listening to techno, the ungodly number of sub genres and catagories made it confusing to know where to start. Because i do not have the luxury of satelite radio, and there are no electronic FM stations where i live, i had to rely on a close friend to tell me where to start. He got me into a compilation seires of Happy Hardcore (Happy 2B Hardcore by Anabolic Frolic). I think this is the reason why i still view happy hardcore as my personal favorite, because, quite frankly, I dont have enough years in my life to venture into every other subgroup. I have found other syles i like, and will continue to become more diverse, but the point remains that i trusted someone else to tell me what to listen to.

    Sorry for the essay...
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