In modern realities, social engineering has become a powerful tool for both good and dark deeds. Therefore, more and more efforts are being made to study it – British scientists have discovered a link between how infectious diseases and viral content spread among people. Polygamous models used in epidemiology are perfectly suited to display the growing popularity of various songs among mobile Internet users.

No matter how contagious a particular disease is, it will not be able to spread if there are no suitable conditions for this, and vice versa. The mechanisms of transmission of infection directly depend on the nature of contacts between people, and the same turned out to be true for the distribution of new songs in the fan environment. The study was based on data on downloading music files to Nokia owners’ phones in the period 2007-2014.

If we take such a genre as pop music, then it is obvious that it has a very extensive, but because of this, a disparate audience. In the genre of electronic music, the situation is the opposite – it is a separate niche where connoisseurs of such content communicate closely with each other. As a result, any new electronic composition gets ratings very quickly and spreads across gadgets and collections. Whereas a pop song has to be played many, many times on the air in order to be noticed.

This model has a continuation: pop music eventually becomes popular, in demand, but does not cause much interest anymore. And the electronic melody experiences a sharp surge of interest, and the same rapid fading, after which, after a while, no one, except the most enthusiastic music lovers, even remembers about it. This is very similar to the situation with sudden outbreaks of new diseases, and sluggish seasonal diseases. But in both cases there is a common feature – the “pathogen” must initially have at least some potential, because pacifiers have no contagion.
Source — The Royal Society