Listeners control the dial in genre-crossing music

A new Cornell study shows that rising consumer influence has changed the tone of modern country music, leading to the creation of more songs that span multiple genres.

MotoichiPeter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration, Assistant Professors at Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, trace the shift to changes in Billboard Magazine’s chart rankings.

“Once Billboard charts became more responsive to the voice of the consumer and more accurately reflected the market, it really changed the market,” he said.A Change of Tune: Democratizing Market Mediation and Crossover Production in the U.S. Commercial Music Industry,” This was published in the Administrative Science Quarterly on December 14th.

“Consumer-driven rankings favored crossover products because consumers are more open to crossover music than radio stations,” said Shi.

For decades, radio stations have had the power to make or break artists by deciding which songs are played and how often. Billboard’s chart rankings for his magazine reflect this power, listing his top songs based on radio play. However, in 2012, Billboard changed its formula for many music genres, taking into account consumption such as digital downloads when calculating which songs topped the charts.

Country music was one of the genres that influenced me.after billboard With change, radio stations, the traditional gatekeepers of the country music market, have lost power, and consumers have gained it. This democratization has directly led to the success and growth of crossover music that blends country with elements of other genres such as pop, hip-hop and rock.

Country-spanning artists such as Shania Twain and Garth Brooks existed long before this change, but with the Billboard chart update, the trend has risen dramatically.

Using machine learning algorithms to analyze the acoustic signatures of tens of thousands of song recordings, Shi found that the new chart could influence artists and their record labels to target the most profitable genres and strategically target audiences. was found to expand to . This soon led to the dominant success of many artists whose sounds and styles differed from traditional country, such as Taylor Swift, Maren Morris, Lil Nas X and Walker Hayes. Rising consumer power has changed not only how success is defined in this market, but also the products currently on offer.

Shi’s research shows that businesses need to be careful when faced with new technologies that raise the voice of the consumer. For companies that create experiential products such as movies, music, food, and lodging, creating crossover products can lead to future growth, but maintaining traditional boundaries can jeopardize the viability of existing products. Navigating the boundaries of the market will require tough choices that will determine what we will all see, hear, eat and experience in the years to come.

“In many parts of our society, it is clear that the gap between traditional gatekeepers and ordinary consumers is widening,” said Shi. “As new technologies and platforms dilute the Gatekeeper’s influence and empower consumers, it’s more important than ever for him to understand the difference between the two.”

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