What studies have been done on the lifecycle of pop songs and how people respond to them over time?
April 4, 2005 9:33 AM   Subscribe

When I was a kid, I remember hearing on the news about a study that had determined that there were a few specific life-cycles for the way a hypothetical person's might react to any new pop-song. One type of song would get more popular the more times it had been heard and then would plummet in popularity when a person had heard it around fifteen times. Others took longer to get popular but would stay at the top longer. These studies were used to help radio networks determine what to play - how to make songs into hits and how often to play them once they had become hits. Does anyone know anything about these studies and where I might be able to find them?
posted by barbelith to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
I don't know about the studies, unfortunately. I'd be curious to read them.

I do wonder how valid they would be now, what with the saturation of videos and images of performers -- I often think that a song's popularity these days has little to do with the sound of the song, and more to do with the advertising of the artist.

Not helpful, I know. Just made me think.
posted by papercake at 9:58 AM on April 4, 2005

This is not the money link but it deals with some of these issues albeit more on a population basis. Maybe ask in Usenet.
posted by peacay at 10:57 AM on April 4, 2005

There has been some academic work done on changing meanings in pop songs. As I recall the paper I read focused on cover versions and such, though. I can't quite recall what the book was-- it may have been this one. Also see Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Theory, which has an essay called "The History of Rock's Pasts through Rock Covers" by Deena Weinstein, which you may find interesting (among other essays).
posted by synecdoche at 3:14 PM on April 4, 2005

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