Is there a formula for a hit song?…. possibly

An ongoing subject in many songwriting blogs, articles and books as to whether there is a formula for a hit song and the typical conclusion is no. However their are some interesting considerations that can be taken on board when songwriting to potentially make your song hit worthy.

The digital revolution in regards to streaming, downloading and production of music has created a wealth of data that many musicians can use to effectively market their music to their key demographic. But this data can also produce some interesting facts about the songs construction and tonality.

For example Spotify regularly on its blog displays insights relating to the music distributed on their platform. One statistic in particular is the popular keys of songs on its database. Below is a graph that shows the typical keys of songs. In conclusion from looking at this graph you could determine that the most popular key of a song is G major.

Chord Progressions

Its also not a secret that many popular songs use the same chord structure as shown in this video. Remember not all songs are in the same key but this video does reveal a surprising insight into the chord structure that is commonly applied.

Axis of Awesome – Four Chord Song

Audio Insights

This video below is an interesting insight into commonly applied melodies and phrasing. Moving from the 5th to the 3rd interval. An observation that has been noticed in many popular hit songs. 

Possibly something worth applying to your songwriting?

The Millennial Whoop

Genre Statistics

Spotify also reveal some surprising statistics in regards to genres and fanbases. This kind of data is great when considering the style of a piece of music you wish to create (if purely aiming for the most popular) or even help towards developing your marketing campaign when promoting your work. The graph below creates a visual demonstrate of fan loyalty by genre. 

If developing a marketing campaign it is well worth doing some research using some of the insights scattered across Spotifys blog. This type of free information can help you make some important decisions for marketing and get your music towards to your key listeners. 

Authors Conclusion

I intend to update this article over time and share some more observations and insights of my own as well as what I find on the internet. I feel this information that is available to us as musicians can help us make key decisions as songwriters and music publishers. We commonly use data to help us move forward and make marketing decisions in music but its also interesting to consider whether this data when making some key decisions about our songwriting.

Thanks for stopping by.