Music Streaming Correlation to The 2016 Election Results



The internet has been going absolutely insane about the Presidential Election, and it should come as no surprise that the after Donald J. Trump became the newest President-elect of the United States, a good many Americans have been blown away. They wondered how celebrities, the media, blogs, universities and more could be so embarrassingly wrong. However, it turns out that music might have at least held part of the key to unlock the secrets of the electorate.

A new study led by Stan Renard, a Music Marketing Coordinator at the University of Texas at San Antonio, shows the theory that music that is used in political campaigns is correlated to the voter habits of the general populous. Also, mobile developer Smule used 100 million user-generated data points to create a prediction model that was detailed to each user’s specific preferences. The findings of the study suggest that campaigns using music from the more recent times will receive the larger majority of the popular vote.


“Democratic candidates tend to rely on more modern campaign music from a wider variety of genres, while Republican candidates tend to pull a narrower selection of songs from the ‘60s through ‘80s.”

Interestingly enough, Trump’s average year of music used was 1982 while Clinton‘s campaign averaged at 2005. This study accurately predicted the popular vote, yet it did not predict the electoral vote. The study is important beyond just actual predictive analytics because it can show us the cultural divide at a more granular level. Maybe if so many artists didn’t throw a tantrum when President-Elect Trump attempted to use their music, this study might have been more accurate and predicted the electoral college vote.

“This is art. This is us trying to use science to understand art, using data to understand how and why people engage with music.”

Source: Forbes