Introducing global and regional mainstreaminess for improving personalized music recommendation

Markus Schedl, Christine Bauer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


The \emph{music mainstreaminess of a user} reflects how strong a user's listening preferences correspond to those of the larger population. Considering that music mainstream may be defined from different perspectives and on various levels, e.g.,~geographical (charts of a country), genre (``Indie charts"), or distribution channel (radio charts vs.~download charts), we study how the user's music mainstreaminess influences the quality of music recommendations. The paper's contribution is three-fold. First, we propose 11 novel mainstreaminess measures characterizing music listeners, considering both a global and a country-specific basis. To this end, we model \emph{preference profiles} (as a vector over artists) for users, countries, and globally, incorporating artist frequency, listener frequency, and a newly proposed TF-IDF-inspired weighting function, which we call artist frequency--inverse listener frequency (AF-ILF). The resulting preference profile for each user $u$ is then related to the respective country-specific and global preference profile using fraction-based approaches, symmetrized Kullback-Leibler divergence, and Kendall's $\tau$ rank correlation, in order to quantify $u$'s mainstreaminess. Second, we demonstrate country-specific peculiarities of these mainstreaminess definitions. Third, we show that incorporating the proposed global and country-specific mainstreaminess measures into the music recommendation process can notably improve accuracy of rating prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event15th International Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing & Multimedia - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 4 Dec 20176 Dec 2017
Conference number: 15


Conference15th International Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing & Multimedia
Abbreviated titleMoMM 2017
Internet address


  • Music mainstreaminess; music recommender systems; artist frequency- inverse listener frequency; popularity


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