'Academics' across t'pond have 'discovered' the 'revealing' 'news' that 'people' are more likely to 'like' something if they're 'told' to like it before 'listening' to it. Y'know, 'music'.
Scientists - we assume not the really clever ones working to make our world a better, safer, more friendly kinda place - at Colombia Univeristy polled some 14,000 people via a website-type thing. The result: that bands can become popular without people actually having heard them.
The process is all very complicated, so basically what happened is as follows: person listens to band and rates band for others to see; band goes to number one on recommendations as well as downloads/listens; sometimes band goes to the top of the virtual charts without receiving x-amount of plays necessary to be there, achieving success through a sheep-like following of the leader. Or something.
Momentum breeds success, in a nutshell, and momentum from other people recommending new music is a powerful tool indeed.
"It suggests that even if an act creates high quality music, you might not be successful," was the opinion of chief science man, sociologist Matthew Salganik.