Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez by xiaoyounan


									Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez? An
 Analysis of the Music Theory and
  Neurotransmittic Forces Behind
       Successful Pop Songs
           Anne Bogert
             EC 700
      Poker Face or Paparazzi?
• Which Lady Gaga song sold more copies?
  – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bESGLojNYSo
  – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2smz_1L2_0
             Broadly Speaking
• Why does one pop song sell more copies than
  another pop song?
  – How established the artist is in the industry (Lee
  – Proportion of population that is teens and pre-
    teeens (Burke 1994)
  – Prices of substitute goods (Stevans & Sessions
  – Season and weather conditions (Christman 2003)
    Demand Inelasticity of Music
• Demand for singles and albums was found to
  be highly inelastic
  – …Even in recessionary times with a negative
    outlook (Sweeney 2003)
  – …Even with the advent of file sharing and illegal
    downloads (Stevans and Sessions 2005)
   Hamlen (1991) and Asai (2011)
• Regressed the log of single sales against
  physical and musical attributes of artists
  – Female, black, primary songwriter, cross-genre,
    wide voice range, moonlighting in acting were all
• Regressed the log of single and album sales
  against non-musical individual artist variables
  – Total previous sales, strength of fan base, gender,
    and record label were all significant
              Lacking Literature
• Use of aggregated sales data
  – Micro analyses few and far between
• Measurement Error
  – Chart performance used as LHS variable
     • Sale cycle concentrations prove this can be unreliable
       (Asai 2009)
           Your Brain on Music
• While listening to a pleasurable piece of
  – Get the chills
  – Reward centers are activated
  – Activity in the amygdala is inhibited
  – Dopamine released by nucleus accumbens
  – Positive mood associated with higher levels of
Your Brain on Music
     Contribution to Literaature
• Analyze demand for pop music on a Micro
  – Control for artist and macro variables
  – Prove that the success of a pop song can be traced
    back to the elements of music theory present in a
    Data Summary and Methods
• Cross-Sectional
• 350 observations
  – Singles released by solo artists in 2011
     • Selected randomly from the Billboard Hot 100
       beginning January 22, 2011
  – Sales data (LHS) provided by Nielsen Sound Scan
  – All RHS variables determined through my own
Sample Equation
       Possible Transformations
• Square Terms
  – Previous album, artist age, bpm, vocal range
• Interaction Terms
  – Tonality and key (key signature), chord progression
    and key
       Potential Research Issues
• Causality
  – I.E. “Songkey”
• Ommitted Variable Bias
  – Not really examining macro factors
Research Relevance

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