Does the weather influence the success of pop music?

A study involving the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Empirical Aesthetics suggests that the weather influences the Top 10 charts.

Singer David Hasselhoff at a concert

Environmental factors such as the weather could influence the commercial success of pop music, according to a study. For this, an international research team with the participation of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt used machine methods to analyse more than 23,000 songs that were in the British charts from 1953 to 2019 and correlated their characteristics with the time of year.

They found that energetic, danceable songs that evoked positive feelings such as joy and happiness were associated with warm and sunny weather. The popularity of such music increased in summer and decreased in winter. These results, however, depended on the popularity of the respective songs: the weather mainly had an influence on the ranking in the «Top 10»; there was hardly any correlation for less popular songs.

Putting songs on the market based on the weather

The study suggests «that favourable environmental conditions such as warm and sunny weather induce a positive emotional state in listeners,» said first author Manuel Anglada-Tort, who works at Oxford University and Frankfurt's MPI. «This condition, in turn, causes them to choose energetic and positive music that may fit their current mood.»

Weather conditions could therefore play an important role in the development of listener preferences – and thus also have an influence on the market success of songs, according to the researchers in the study published in the journal «Royal Society Open Science».

Written by: sda

Photos: Keystone

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