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Scientists claim equation can predict songs' hit potential; still doesn't help David Hasselhoff

Jason Hidalgo, @JasonHidalgo
December 19, 2011
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Forget Simon Cowell -- when it comes to having an eye for potential hits, the bright minds over at the University of Bristol in the UK believe they can predict a song's hit potential through good, old science. More specifically, the scientists use a "hit potential equation" that they've devised by factoring in 23 musical features like tempo, loudness, harmonic simplicity and danceability. By using the equation, they claim that they can predict a song's hit potential with an accuracy rate of 60 percent. As for that other 40 percent, well, they say it's due to non-musical factors they couldn't account for like, um, marketing. The equation's biggest challenge? Predicting hit songs from the '80s.

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