frequency and repetition

DUH! This just in…

frequency and repetition

Researchers find most popular chart songs repeat same words over and over again. They claim the secret to a smash hit single is the frequency and repetition of the lyrics and found songs that repeat phrases are more likely to be smash hits and successes. Hit singles at the top of the charts repeat their lyrics more.

The study reports that songs which repeated entire phrases and individual words more often were likely to be commercially successful.

The study from USC Prof Nunes concludes that the secret to the hit single might help marketers and advertisers.

‘We believe these results have important implications for consumer research involving information goods and diffusion as they suggest fluency helps accelerate adoption. It would be reasonable to expect repetitive messages to spread faster, as they would be expected to be easier to process and therefore more fluent. These results may also have strategic implications for marketers, especially when it comes to advertising text and product jingles.”

This should be no surprise to the hit makers and the king makers of the record industry, but is something that every artist needs to understand. The whole business is built on frequency and repetition. As David Geffen famously said in 2012 when asked by Billboard about the opportunities and challenges of entering the music business again he deadpanned: “I’d kill myself.”  It’s no easier to break in as an artist now, he notes, attributing the difficulties to the absence of Top 40 radio and an outlet like MTV to air music videos on a loop. “You need repetition,” he said of what he describes as a crucial element of discovery. “You need to be able to hear things a lot.”

Frequency it seems, is important on every level of the music business.

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