The scaling used in our new Mobile Music Test lends itself perfectly to the mobile platform. It’s simple…swipe right if you’re interested in listening to a song, swipe left if you’re not, swipe down if you’re unfamiliar with it. Or – if you don’t like swiping – hit the buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Which raises the question: Does the mobile platform necessitate such a simple scale? Is the only reason we opted for such a basic scale because that’s the only way we could accomplish this on the relatively small screen of a smartphone?

And the answer is: Absolutely Not! We could just as easily have used a series of buttons to accommodate a more typical, elaborate scale – for example, buttons for Like a Lot, Like a Little, Dislike a Little, Dislike a Lot, etc.

But we’ve been considering switching to a simple Interested/Not Interested scale for years before even thinking about putting a music test on a smartphone or tablet.

The big reason is that like/dislike skirts the issue of what stations really need to know when considering what they play. For a personal example, I really like “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors…like it a lot, in fact. But if I never hear it again, that’ll be just fine.

What really matters isn’t whether listeners like a song…it’s what they’re going to do when a song comes on your air. What really matters is whether they’re interested in listening to a song. Or not. If they’re interested, they’re going to stick with you longer. If not, they’re much more likely to tune out.

But why not go for degrees of interest –say, Very Interested, Somewhat Interested, Somewhat Uninterested, Not At All Interested? Why force respondents into a simple binary choice???

Because we live in a society of: Polarization. Absolutes, not subtleties. Shortened attention spans. Instant gratification. If they’re somewhat uninterested, is that good enough? No!

Are listeners interested in listening to this song, or not? That’s precisely that the MMT measures.