Music company finds relationship between what we see and watch

by Bob Deutsch

Farragut Square outdoor movie screen rental

Taking the full personalities of a potential outdoor screen festival attendees into account.

Choosing what movie to watch, whether it’s on monitors or large movie screens, seems to be a fundamental and frequent dilemma for viewers everywhere—and organizers, too. In our algorithm-happy time, in which data can be generated and collected in a myriad of ways, one company has discovered a means of making links between consumers’ music tastes and their movie preferences.

The Echo Nest recently published the results of a study conducted to determine the best ways of understanding what they call a person’s “musical identity,” how listeners are defined by their music tastes. Some of the findings, based on information taken from the media habits of 50,000 users, probably will not challenge majority opinion, such as the conclusion that fans of romantic comedies like popular music artists like Beyonce, Usher and Celine Dion.

But some intriguing and unexpected relationships can be seen. For example, the researchers cross-referenced the musical tastes of fans who identified with movies based on Marvel Comics characters like Spiderman and the Avengers against those who identify with DC characters like Batman and Superman. Interestingly, the top fifteen favorite artists of each shared eight entries, including Jay-Z, Linkin Park and System of a Down.

As this sort of information becomes more accessible, movie festival planners can use it to decide what best to show on outdoor screens. Even without this kind of research, those running festivals can endeavor to sync up different aspects of their events, aligning music being played with the type of film being shown.

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