One of the very interesting features of FuturePulse is the possibility to estimate, monitor and predict the popularity that different music genres attract. This can support music professionals in anticipating future developments and in making better decisions based on them. For instance, festival organizers are greatly interested in knowing which types of music are trending or are expected to trend next year so that they can create a more exciting line-up. In a similar spirit, record labels are interested in knowing which genres increase in popularity so that they can make better decisions with regard to signing new artists and promoting their existing ones.
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Music charts are among the wealth of data sources that FuturePulse collects and analyzes. The FuturePulse engine collects more than 200 music charts with global and local coverage and maps the included charts, albums and artists to the corresponding Spotify genres. Then, these are further mapped to a list of 60 reference genres that have been selected by the FuturePulse consortium as the most important for describing the majority of music that is trending in Europe and the US.
By analyzing the frequency of music genres across different charts, FuturePulse can derive an aggregate popularity index for each genre. This analysis is repeated on a weekly basis since charts are typically updated at a weekly rate, which makes this index highly dynamic. To give a sense of the results, we present in the following table the top-20 genres for two consecutive yearly periods: 1st July 2016 to 30th June 2017 and 1st July 2017 to 30th June 2018 and the corresponding Year-over-Year (YoY) change rate.
As expected, Pop, Hip hop, EDM and Rock dominate the charts and rank in the top positions of popular genres. However, not all of them exhibit the same growth rate. Pop and Hip hop, for instance, grow at a small but noticeable rate (2.7% and 4.7% respectively) while EDM and Rock seem to suffer some small decrease in popularity (3% and 6% respectively). Genres with very high growth rates include Latin (22.1%), Christmas (20%), and Lounge (27.1%). At the other end of the spectrum, one can find several genres with strongly decreasing popularity, like singer-songwriter (-31.4%), Electronic (-19.3%), Folk (-23.3%), Christian (-25.8%) and Funk (-27.3%).
Obviously, a simple ranking like the above does not tell the whole story when it comes to genre popularity. That’s why in the framework of FuturePulse we are also studying additional facets of the problem, such as for instance, what is the geographic distribution of genre popularity, in other words we study whether some genres are more popular in certain countries rather than others. Most importantly, we study the evolution of genre popularity and build sophisticated models for forecasting their popularity in the future. If such questions are of interest to you too, then feel free to get in touch!
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Senior Researcher at CERTH