Determining the ‘neuro-signature’ of hit songs for radio broadcaster

Industry: Live Radio Broadcast Media | Market: Canada

Background Challenge

In today’s digital era, consumers have a plethora of choices for where to consume music. While algorithm-based services (Pandora, Songza, etc.) are becoming increasingly popular, broadcast radio stations (which still have very human elements) are in a unique position to serve as experts at cultivating good music choices for their listeners. The problem they face however, is identifying which songs will be most popular with their user base. By improving the selection they serve their audience, radio stations can grow their listener base and the ad revenue that comes with it.


Brainsights aired a variety of songs from various genres to members of the brand’s listener panel as each participant was connected to the Brainsights audience measurement platform, which tracks brain activity every 2 milliseconds.
The songs were pre-selected from a group that were currently in rotation in the station’s programming and for which popularity/performance data was already available.
Brainsights analyzed the results against its three key metrics of Attention, emotional Connection and Encoding to memory to identify precisely where and to what degree the target audience was subconsciously engaged. How can we identify which songs will engage the target audience the most. What does the neuro signature of a successful song look like?

Findings and Results

By mining the brains of its target market, Brainsights provided the client with insights into what makes for a successful song. This neuro signature identification allowed the client to understand not only which new songs will be the biggest hits for listener base, but also how to select the older songs that still resonate with their audience.