What is it about?

Using a novel measure incorporating stylistic and acoustic data on recorded music from 1967 to 2017, we search for trends in the evolution of diversity in 125,340 albums. We find that temporal patterns of diversity differ for stylistic and acoustic data. We also find that the patterns differ dramatically by genre. Some genres, such as blues, jazz, and pop-rock, decrease in diversity over time, most other genres increase in diversity. The causes of these different trends present a puzzle for future research. We also find different patterns for recordings that made the Billboard 200 charts compared to all recordings, suggesting an association between selection processes driven by consumer popularity and diversity.

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Why is it important?

Shows prior findings of associations of diversity and industry structure found do not hold when we analyze data beyond the smaller sample of the more popular recordings found in Billboard. These findings have implications for many prior studies based exclusively on Billboard data.

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This page is a summary of: Bustin’ Out: The Evolution of Novelty and Diversity in Recorded Music, January 2022, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/s0733-558x20220000077007.
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