The recipe for a hit song consist of two main ingredients, art and psychology. When art and psychology work in perfect harmony, the chances for the perfect storm increase. One without the other makes finding a hit next to impossible.
I regularly hear new music from artists, songwriters and producers who aspire to create hits. Most of the creators are quite familiar with the songs that reach the top of the charts. What puzzles me is the key ingredient so many miss about those songs. When writing/recording a song, they nail the art with an incredible hook but totally miss the psychology when placing the hook in the song. Lost in the art, many artists and producers take too long to get to the hook. Unfortunately, the listener wants the payoff immediately and therefore so do the gate keepers of radio.
I offer a little obvious free advice. To Score a Hit, Hook’em Quick!