Data Reveals How Men and Women Differ as Music Fans
"Men are from Mars and women are from Venus," as a book famously claimed.
Both of these genders agree, however, that the music of Bruno Mars is well worth a listen — it’s just about every other artist they seem to disagree on.
By analyzing the listening behavior of 200,000 anonymous music fans across a variety of services (self-reported as male or female), The Echo Nest director of developer platform Paul Lamere has drawn fascinating observations about the music, generally speaking, that men and women like to listen to.
Only one artist falls in the top five for both genders: Bruno Mars. The same is true of most of the rest of music, according to this data — there’s just not a lot of overlap between the music men and women listen to the most.
About 30 percent of artists skew heavily towards male or female listeners. About 70 percent appeal at least somewhat to both genders.
These artists skew more “female” than any others in the top 1,000:
Aly & AJ
La Oreja de Van Gogh
These artists skew more “male” than any others in the top 1,000:
Rage Against the Machine
Alice in Chains
Stone Temple Pilots
Queens of the Stone Age
As Paul suggests, music apps and services can use this information to select more gender-neutral artists when they don’t know whether the listener is male or female.
If an app or service does know whether a person is male or female, they can serve up better music by tailoring playlists, streaming radio, recommendations, and more to artists prefered by that genre, and de-emphasizing those that aren’t.
Accounting for gender bias in both directions, the most popular five artists are: Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, and Drake, in that order.
Paul has far more detailed analysis, so for the full story — including which genres skew strongly one way or the other — check out the full post on Music Machinery.