Amongst the 19 products we run, I have a huge soft corner for ‘Heartbeats’, our weekly music countdown product. Heartbeats launched on September 22, 2010 (two weeks after Dabangg released). The product is targeted at music channels and FM radio stations. It allows them to select songs for their playlist basis their popularity scores every week.
We have been tweeting the Heartbeats Top 5 songs every Wednesday through our @OrmaxMedia account on Twitter. It is one of the most popular pieces of data, judging by the high number of re-tweets it gets. Many have also tweeted us asking for an explanation of how we arrive at the Heartbeats charts. So here goes.
Heartbeats is based on a very simple premise: That the popularity of a song at any point of time is a function of two things. One, the recall of the song, i.e., how many people could name the song when asked about songs that are currently playing on TV & Radio. Two, the likeability of the song, i.e., a score on a 0-10 scale, depending on how much a person likes the song.
Using a large sample research every week, recall and likeability of various songs is calculated. A formula (that I can’t share here) combines these two scores into a single number, called the ‘HB Score’. Ranking on the basis of the ‘HB Score’ gives us the weekly charts. Thus, to feature high on the charts, a song has to be either in the buzz (recall) or highly liked or both.
What is fascinating is the kind of songs that do well on recall, and the kind of songs that do well on likeability. Let’s take a look.
The table below enlists the ten songs that have scored the highest on recall, since the start of Heartbeats. ‘Peak Week’ refers to the week from release in which the song reached its peak recall, e.g. Wk +2 means two weeks after the film’s release.
|Song||Film||Recall %||Peak Week|
|Sheila Ki Jawani||Tees Maar Khan||82||Wk +3|
|Chammak Challo||Ra.One||71||Wk +1|
|Munni Badnaam||Dabangg||64||Wk +2|
|Dhinka Chika||Ready||58||Wk +2|
|Character Dheela||Ready||53||Wk -1|
|Tere Mast Mast||Dabangg||51||Wk +2|
|Bhaag DK Bose||Delhi Belly||44||Wk +2|
|Dum Maaro Dum||Dum Maaro Dum||43||Wk +1|
|Zor Ka Jhatka||Action Replayy||42||Wk +2|
|Chaar Baj Gaye||F.A.L.T.U.||42||Wk +3|
It is fascinating to note the common factor amongst these ten songs. All of them, with the exception of Tere Mast Mast to some extent, are high-tempo numbers. There is no slow song in this list at all. Also, besides Character Dheela, all other songs reached their peak recall after the film’s release, typically two weeks later.
Now, let’s look at the top 10 songs in terms of likeability, i.e., the average score on the 0-10 scale, indicating the likeability of the song in that particular week.
|Tujhe Bhula Diya||Anjaana Anjaani||9.1||Wk +2|
|Teri Meri||Bodyguard||8.9||Wk +7|
|Phir Mohabbat||Murder 2||8.9||Wk +4|
|Te Amo||Dum Maaro Dum||8.9||Wk +5|
|Isq Risk||Mere Brother…||8.8||Wk 0|
|Aye Khuda||Murder 2||8.7||Wk +3|
|Humko Pyaar Hua||Ready||8.6||Wk +1|
|Saibo||Shor In The City||8.5||Wk +6|
It’s not hard to notice the difference between the two lists, is it? Not even one common song between them! The likeability list is packed with romantic melodies, with the sole exception of the sleeper Sufi hit of the year, Aye Khuda (Murder 2). Also note how the peak week comes much later, averaging around Wk +4, i.e., a full month after the film’s release.
Yes, our hit music thrives in these two dichotomous boxes – the buzzy songs that gets everyone talking about them, and the slow melodies that people eventually fall in love with.
Of course, for every song that exists in either of these two boxes, there are dozens others that fall by the wayside, not making any impact at all. Not making any ‘heartbeats’ racing.