Tag Archives: how to find a new band

How to find a new favourite band

I really like Muse. I have for years. They’re at that stage though where so many people like them that it’s not cutting edge any more. And if there’s one thing I like being it’s cutting edge… Even my sisters like them now. Despite years of complaining when I played them back when I was living at home… it happened with Powderfinger too. And I probably would have liked U2 once… while it’s sad that my musical taste is so dependent on the taste of others, that’s not the point of this post.

How do you find a new favourite band? I found this post via some bookmarking service (Digg, or Reddit, or What’s hot in Google Reader – I can’t remember which). You can use mathematics to find a new band. And the results look promising.

“Now let’s see. I take a sample of 215 bands including those on top of the Billboard 200 (who are these people?) and calculate an average number of plays per each listener (via last.fm data). All things equal, the higher the average, the the more devoted the band’s fans are.”

Then you graph it…

“Each red dot is a band. Y-axis represents the total number of the band’s listeners, the x-axis represents the average number of listens per each band’s fan, the blue line is the “alien average”. The swarm in the left bottom corner is the “moshpit of doom” – your band is nothing special in the public’s eyes if you are there.”

If a band has a huge amount of listeners then it probably appeals to some common human emotion and everybody can enjoy their songs. If a band has little listeners, but plays per listener (PPL) rate is high, it must mean the band was able to appeal to some sort of less common emotion and the higher the PPL the harder it is to substitute the band by some other band.

This is a graph using Coldplay as the base…

And here’s how you find the music you should try out…

The things you can do with technology…