Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2005 (Revised September 2006)

Polyphonic HMI: Mixing Music and Math

by Anita Elberse, Jehoshua Eliashberg and Julian Villanueva


In 2003, Mike McCready, CEO of Barcelona-based Polyphonic HMI, was preparing to launch an artificial intelligence tool that could create significant value for music businesses. The technology, referred to as Hit Song Science (HSS), analyzed the mathematical characteristics of music and compared them to characteristics of past music hits, making it possible to determine a new song's hit potential. McCready must decide on a target market--record companies, producers, or unsigned artists--and develop a marketing plan that helps overcome the likely resistance against adoption.

Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Music Entertainment; Business History; Leadership; Marketing Strategy; Strategic Planning; Problems and Challenges; Mathematical Methods; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;


Elberse, Anita, Jehoshua Eliashberg, and Julian Villanueva. "Polyphonic HMI: Mixing Music and Math." Harvard Business School Case 506-009, August 2005. (Revised September 2006.) (Spanish version also available.)