The Science of Hipster Music

Priceonomics created a chart that scientifically measures the hipster factor of music. This is an application of their data crawl service. They used ratings data from the independent music review site Pitchfork and correlated it against the number of Facebook ‘likes’ of the review.

We used two criteria to judge whether a musician was hipster. The first was if the musician received a positive review from the music review site Pitchfork… Pitchfork reviewers like a lot of mainstream music, however, so that’s not enough. The second criterion is that not many people should like that band. To measure obscurity, we looked at the number of Facebook likes the Pitchfork review received.

The Hipster Music Index

For a given Pitchfork Review Score, the trend line uses a linear regression to predict how many Facebook likes you’d expect the album to receive given its critical acclaim.
Some of the music

While there are a lot of holes in the premise and methodology of the analysis, it was a fun diversion into the world of statistical analysis. The final ‘hipster index’ or “Obscurity” was measured by dividing the expected number of likes for music of that rating by the number of actual likes.

Formula For the Hipster Music Index

Priceonomics also listed the music by order of “Obscurity” score.

The Hipster Index: Music You've Probably Never Heard Of

I sampled some of the music on that list as well as music that was above the hipster regression line. The verdict: I’m not hipster. I like the things that most other people like.

The original article was written by Rohin Dhar. You can read it here.

Tate Srey - Tate Srey is an artist and an engineer. He is a nerd who likes to lift heavy things and put them back down again. He loves to run and swim and build things. He makes his own wine and beer, and dies a little inside when he has to pay more than $5 for draft. He has a natural affection for people with a teacher's spirit-- those who will share their knowledge and experience with others. Some men just want to watch the world learn. Tate can be found on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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