Quick Hits: Hit analysis. Digital drama for De La Soul. Radio’s future in cars.

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

What’s the most popular key signature for hits? Who doesn’t love a deep dive into popular music? The Flypaper blog has published a massive analysis of every song that reached the Billboard top 5 during 2018. It’s an intriguing look at the music theory behind the year’s hits. And, unsurprisingly, there is a whole lot of Drake.

De La Soul’s difficult road to digital continues: Iconic rap group De La Soul has had a rocky relationship with the shift to digital. Their catalog has never been available on streaming services due to some legal and label complications. This week, the group was on the verge of bringing its music to streaming for the first time, but De La Soul made headlines with criticism about the revenue they’d make from that release. The trio claimed that their label, Tommy Boy Records, would be getting 90% of the money. Jay-Z made a move to support the fellow rappers through his Tidal streaming service, but it now seems that the streaming launch has been postponed. Even though streaming has become so common, this shows there’s still a lot of contention among performers about how the finances are divided.

What’s next for radio in cars? Radio has long had a dominant role in cars, and the shifts toward connected vehicles, infotainment dashboards, and voice assistants have led to many questions about how that role might change. Radioworld has a feature gathering opinions and insights on this ongoing debate. One notable quote comes from consultant John Ellis: “The question is becoming more complex though. Now there is this construct of the consumer with the ability — technology enabled — to dictate that relationship. The consumer has a voice in what happens in the dash, which is really new territory. How do we make the consumer to want to keep interacting with broadcast? Those decisions will be driven by content.”

Anna Washenko