February 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

What Does Your Musical Taste Say About You? Ask Stereotype.fm

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Stereotyping people by their musical predilections is nothing new. At some point in your life, you may have been deemed a criminal — or, even worse, been considered uncool, just because of the band on your t-shirt.

Rather than judging people solely on the music they listen to, the new web app Stereotype.fm (not to be confused with the social music service Stereotypes.fm) turns information volunteered by its users into fun, funny, fact-based generalizations about music fans. Are Muddy Waters fans the most likely to have been arrested? According to Stereotype.fm’s data, yes.

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Sample survey question on the Tastebuds.fm homepage

Stereotype.fm was dreamt up by the same crew who brought us the music-derived dating site  Tastebuds.fm – and, as it turns out, one powers the other.

To collect data to power Stereotype.fm’s generalizations, the team asked over 100,000 Tastebuds.fm users questions about themselves (some declined). Tastebuds.fm’s Alex Parish told us they displayed questions randomly-selected from a pool of over 100 people. Each question was answered by at least 1,000 users, which is why it took so long for Tastebuds.fm to generate enough data to power Stereotype.fm.

“On average, Tastebuds users add just over 70 artists to their profile,” said Parish. “These are imported from our Spotify app, Last.fm, Facebook or are manually entered by users. To generate the headlines we examined each artist one by one to see how their fans responded to each survey.”

Examples:

  • Sleater-Kinney fans are most likely to have had cops show up at their party.
  • Whitney Houston fans are most likely to have had multiple one-night stands.
  • Home or apartment owners are most likely to listen to Orbital, The Fall, Roxy Music, Jim Morrison, or Al Green, in that order.

The survey didn’t power all of this data — some came from Tastebuds.fm profile information, such as height and weight. As for how the team generated the survey, questions during their brainstorming session, Parish admitted that “a couple of beers were involved!”

stereotypefmTo use the site, just enter an artist’s name, and you’ll see how fans of that artist answered particular questions as compared to fans of other artists. For example, a search for “Sam Cooke” revealed that Sam Cooke fans enjoy reading on the toilet. But not as much as Deerhoof fans.

While you can certainly argue with science like this, but even if this data isn’t bullet-proof enough for a scientific journal or dissertation, Stereotype.fm is definitely amusing and worth checking out for a few laughs, and maybe a quick share to Facebook or Twitter, if you find something particularly interesting there.