For football fans like me, it's the international break, which means that there was NO club football to watch this week (sadly). In order to pass the time, I decided to crunch the numbers and understand the sound of the most popular league in the world - the English Premier League. Going into Spotify, you'll find their official playlist; I tagged these tracks by searching Youtube and running the audio through our AI here.
Here are my findings:
The playlist consists of mostly vocal tracks (96%), out of which 71% are male vocals - Liam Gallagher (known to be a Manchester City supporter), Bon Iver... just to name a few. This could be perhaps an attempt to appeal to their male-dominated demographic who loves a good sing-along.
In terms of genres, the playlist is generally made up of Indie (46%), Pop and Rock (both 39%) tracks. However, the playlist seems to be wide-varying too - comprising of tracks from Electronic (Ólafur Arnalds - ekki hugsa) to Folk (Charlie Cunningham - Pieces) and even Gospel (Gregory Potter - Revival).
The AI tagged a total of 32 different genres and sub-genres; While the demographic is dominated by men who love football, the wide range of genres signifies that genre isn’t a huge deciding factor on whether football fans will like a song or not. In fact, their tastes can be quite eclectic and open to new or alternative genres.
Unsurprisingly, the prevailing theme of these music such as Tom Grennan's Amen and Celeste's Stop This Flame are that of powerful (55%), romantic (36%) and largely positive in terms of emotions (41%). If you've stood in the terraces of any football game, it is an extremely powerful yet romantic atmosphere to hear a crowd of 40,000 supporters singing in unison. After all, football is an event that unites people and for many, something to look forward to after a long week at work.
In this aspect, the Premier League clearly understands this emotional connection of football fans and wanted to reflect this in the music choices. Conversely, only 11% of the tracks are tagged as negative by the AI (e.g. Lewis Capaldi - Bruises).
Energy and Tempo
Speaking of which, it's also worthy to note that the playlist is on medium to high energy levels, which follows a rather balanced distribution in terms of tempo - definitely not resembling the "heavy metal football" of Liverpool's - often-described of the high pressing playing style of the reigning champions .
So what did I learn about the Premier League?
The Premier League playlist not only represents the eclectic music choices of their male-dominated demographic, it also gives us an insight to understand how music can be an extension of the brand experience - to connect with your audience on a deeper level, to create a soundtrack to their lives.
So the next time I'm tuning in to watch my team (Chelsea fan here, by the way), I'm gonna grab a beer with my buddies, put on the playlist and enjoy the big game with a soundtrack for all fans - no matter who they are supporting.
For a detailed breakdown of the findings, click here.