We’ve had a few of these posts lately about what makes a song a hit – look back at the posts over the last few weeks to find them if you missed them.

Here’s another one – and this time it’s about whether you can use all the data that now exists about songs themselves and their commercial success to make any judgements about what it is that makes a hit.

In some ways it’s similar to Jay Frank’s findings (although, for me, his data delving is way deeper and his conclusions more thorough), but it has some interesting facts that might help you when you’re penning your next global mega-smash.

What do hit songs have in common over the years, and how are they changing? And what does it all say about who we were, and who we’re becoming?

Two Rutgers master’s degree candidates delved into this with a presentation called “Visualizing a Hit” that maps popular songs against some of their musical attributes in an effort to find out what they share, and how they have changed over time.

Read it here.