In a new scientific study, Aarhus University researchers reported on how diurnal patterns—"the rhythms of daily life"—impact our musical preferences. Essentially, the time of day is directly linked to our emotional states that affect our desire to hear certain kinds of music. Seems obvious, but it's interesting how the researchers used artificial intelligence to analyze personal playlist and song streaming data from Spotify. Then they confirmed with study participants whether they preferred a particular playlist during morning, afternoon, evening, night, or late night/early morning.
And even more interesting is that according to their scientific paper published by The Royal Society, they identified one song that people apparently enjoy listening to "uniformly throughout the day." It is: "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. Contrast that with a track like "Svefn-g-englar" by Sigur Rós that they say trends toward nighttime play. Listen to both below.
"[Every Breath You Take is] a very in-the-middle type of song," [lead researcher Ole Adrian] Heggli says. "It's a medium tempo. It's a bit groovy, but not too much groovy. It doesn't have any loud surprises. And it's all over just a very pleasant, perhaps even a bit bland song."
Heggli thinks this research might say something about how musicians can maximize their streaming potential.
"You should really aim for something that's more or less in the middle of the pack. Something that's not too high in tempo but also not too low, and something that's danceable but maybe not too danceable, either," he says.