Sunday, November 22, 2009

How Popularity Affects Popularity in Music

(Posted by Andrew Merkin)
The article below tested a couple of factors in the creation of "hit" songs in the music industry. It goes along with the power law discussion from Thursday's class.

The authors create an artificial ‘‘music market’’ in which 14,341 participants downloaded previously unknown songs either with or without knowledge of previous participants’ choices. Increasing the strength of social influence increased both inequality and unpredictability of success. Success was also only partly determined by quality: The best songs rarely did poorly, and the worst rarely did well, but any other result was possible.

The article is available through the Dewey library site.

Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market

Salganik et al. Science 10 February 2006: 854-856 DOI: 10.1126/science.1121066

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