SXSW 2017: Hitwizard predicts next week’s hits!

By on maart 11, 2017

On 15-th of March, “Goldmund, Wyldebeast & Wunderliebe” together with “Radio Radar” present the Hitwizard on South by Southwest (SXSW). Hitwizard is a self-learning computer algorithm which makes predictions on the likelihood of a track to appear in the Spotify Top 200, based on the airplay and some other unique characteristics.

The session about Hitwizard is part of the New Dutch Wave program. New Dutch Wave is a new international movement to celebrate top notch Dutch creativity and entrepreneurship set to launch at SXSW17. New Dutch Wave house pops up downtown at the infamous Barbarella & Swan Dive venue; 615 Red River St, Austin.

About 15,000 different tracks are played weekly on the Dutch radio. Based on historical data Hitwizard searches for connections and correlations that are rather difficult to be identified by people, still clear enough to be modeled by a computer.

Hitwizard makes use of an Artificial Neural Network. Such network could be used, for example, to train a computer to identify whether there’s a dog or a cat pictured on a photograph. By letting the computer to look for some unique characteristics, it learns to classify dogs and cats on the photographs. The same approach is used when searching for data characteristics that do affect the chance of a song to become a radio hit. The quality of the predictions improves with time, as algorithm is provided with new data continuously.

“From 85,000 different tracks that have been played on the Dutch radio during the last six months, nearly 60% of the predictions of the Hitwizard for a song to become a hit were correct. As opposed, nearly 99.6% of cases classified by the Hitwizard as non-hits were predicted correctly as well”, – stated Zakarias, the lead developer of the Hitwizard.

“At this point Hitwizard is still in beta but in the nearest future it may become a valuable tool for the music industry professionals to gain insights of the success in the marketing strategy”, – stated Ard Boer, the art director at “Goldmund, Wyldebeast & Wunderliebe” and founder of the “Radio Radar”.