It’s no surprise that men and women like different artists and different genres of music. After all, men and women like different types of everything, from clothing to television shows to cars. But the stunning part is that a very large percentage of music is completely tuned out by one sex or the other.
In the above charge, you’ll notice that a substantial percentage of artists don’t appear on the other side. But that separation extends to far longer lists as well, including developing artists and more niche content. The broader study, conducted by the Echo Nest, involved more than 200,000 randomly-selected listeners who self-identified their gender.
“No matter what size chart we look at – whether it is the top 40, top 200 or the top 1,000 artists – about 30% of artists on a gender-specific chart don’t appear on the corresponding chart for the opposite gender,” commented Echo Nest researcher Paul Lamere.
The creepy part is that the gender of a music listener soon becomes obvious after a few listening sessions. And when it comes to music, people are constantly sending valuable data crumbs: hop onto Pandora, for example, and you are constantly selecting and thumbs-upping artists that give away your gender. If you are constantly skipping male-skewing bands, for example, you are probably female.
But figuring out which sex likes you more can make the difference in your career. Sometimes this is obvious: if you’re a Death Metal band with 95% guys in the audience, then you don’t need a detailed data analysis. If you’re a singer-songwriter with a split-gender audience, you could be attracting females who are dragging their boyfriends along (though this is hard to tell at first).
This simple data-mining can produce gold, and is all part of a massive level of enhanced identification and targeting being practiced by everyone from Target to McDonald’s. Because once you buy a few things from a major retailer, they typically know what you’re likely to buy next. By the same token, a musician who knows the gender bias of his or her audience has a better chance of selling more stuff to that audience.
And what are those male- and female-skewing artists? Here’s just a small selection, as identified by The Echo Nest.