You could well attribute this to this the rise of sampling. The study used a piece of melody analysis software to determine that earworm songs had notes with longer durations and smaller pitch intervals.
Doing this will allow you to change your songwriting style. Let us know in the comments below and share this advice with your fellow musicians. People like to have their expectations fulfilled.
You can take the catchiest hook and move it to the chorus, for example. Why is that important? Knock 'em dead! Sometimes it seems like a certain school of modern songwriting is all about getting in as many earworms as possible. They often have different lyrics even though the melody may be the same.
For instance, where does the song accelerate?
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Copyright Robin Frederick.