Musicovery’s experiment

People’s music preferences show universal values!

If you look at the songs people like the most, results are essentially pop hits from the 90s and 00’:

  • Suddenly I see – KT Tunstall
  • Wonderwall – Oasis
  • She will be loved – Maroon 5
  • Feel Good Inc – Gorillaz
  • Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
  • Under the bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Don’t stop the music – Rihanna
  • Speed Of Sound – Coldplay
  • Rehab Amy – Winehouse
  • Hey ya ! – Outkast

Number of listeners who tagged “I like” (source: Musicovery’s registered members database)
But instead of counting the number of positive ratings (“I like”), we can look at the songs people agree the most they like, and the picture gets totally different:

  • Georgia On My Mind – Ray Charles
  • Piano sonata “Moonlight” – Beethoven
  • Badinerie – Bach
  • What a wonderful world – Louis Armstrong
  • Stand by me – Ben E. King
  • Get Up, Stand Up – Bob Marley
  • Cello suite n°1 – Bach
  • Bitter sweet symphony  – The Verve
  • What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  • Blue Moon – Julie London
  • Piano concerto n°21 – Mozart
  • Ain’t no sunshine – Bill Withers
  • Jammin’ – Bob Marley
  • Wish you were here – Pink Floyd
  • Paint it black – The Rolling Stones
  • Could you be loved – Bob Marley
  • Is this love – Bob Marley
  • Impromptu D899 – Schubert

Ratio between number of listeners who tagged “I like” and “I don’t like” (source: Musicovery’s registered members database)

Almost all those songs carry what we could call “universal” values: wisdom, compassion, love, peace,…
They benefit from a very low level of “I don’t like”. It is as if people are refrained from disliking songs that or artists who convey “universal” values.

It would be interesting if sociologists or other academics from relevant disciplines could investigate this matter more systematically, as well as other music services with large audiences (and large music preference ratings databases) to confirm this finding.

On a broader scope it raises issues regarding the way search engines or recommendation engines work.

Those results are extracted from an experiment Musicovery is conducting currently on its lab “Mapping music by likes”. To play with the map, it’s here

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