A Data-Led Theory to Generationally Divide Dance Floors
This is a hypothetical wedding dance floor.
The crowd on our dance floor is equally distributed by age.
Some age groups are more likely to recognize certain songs than others.
(we collected a 3.5 million data points on what songs people know)
Suppose we play “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees
, a song with almost universal recognition.
Playing “Get Low” by Lil Jon
will draw a different crowd.
Play “Smack That” by Akon
, released in 2006, and it’s your best shot at isolating people in their 20s.
Play “Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul
, released in 1988, and you can do the same thing for people in their 40s.
What if you needed a song that brings to the floor people in their 30s and 40s? There’s a Venn diagram for that.
Adding in people in their 20s, and the diagram depicts 7 songs to generationally divide (or unify) dance floors.
This project is part of a series by The Pudding about
How Music is Remembered