This is brilliant and scary at the same time.

Might be that the very last thing you want as a DIY musician is a so-called ‘formula’ for a hit.

There are many other factors causing you to be a musician and pursuit of pop fame may well not be amongst them.

Good for you.

But, people, such as Jay Frank whose work I love, are putting songs under the microscope and working out what they can about how measurable factors affect their hit potential.

This may miss the point as far as lyrical, musical and emotional nuance is concerned but at the very least this data tells you what radio wants to play and therefore make a hit.

Read Jay’s book – Future Hit DNA – and check out this post about the latest US data for this year.

Here’s some of their up to the minute conclusions:

  • The current song length average is 3:51.
  • The current intro length average is 0:13.
  • The average time that it takes for the first chorus to hit in top 10 hit Pop songs is 0:39.  This number has been stable over the last two quarters.
  • Love/relationship themed songs have been in a steep decline since Q3-2010 (where they accounted for 63% of all songs), and now account for just 17% of all top 10 hit Pop songs. Hooking up themed songs have been on the rise since Q3-2010, and how account for the majority of top 10 hit Pop songs at 38%.  Inspirational themed songs have also been seeing a steady increase in number, climbing form 0% of songs in Q3-2010 to a now second place 25% of songs in Q2-2011.

I’d maintain that ‘hooking up’ is essentially the same subject material as ‘love’, but you get the point!

Read the whole thing here.