Can a computer predict which pop songs will top the charts? Yes, says a team of mathematicians at the University of California, Irvine.
They analyzed 500,000 songs released between 1985 and 2015 in the United Kingdom. The songs were listed on music popularity charts in the U.K.
The computer rated each song based on 12 features like happiness, popularity, and whether you could dance to it.
The researchers found that women often sing today’s hit pop songs, which feel happy and bright, says Natalia Komarova. She’s a mathematician who led the team.
The program also analyzed additional songs. It correctly predicted which songs became popular 85 percent of the time!