The use of neuroimaging to predict individual and population-wide behaviors, also known as neuroforecasting, was long applied to estimate movie popularity. Only recently, EEG-based neural synchronization, which is indicative of engagement, was found as a valid predictor of the listening behavior of the population. However, the population’s evaluative responses to the songs were not incorporated. To fill this void, this study explored whether neural synchrony can also be related to likes, dislikes and comments for the same songs on YouTube more than two years after their release. In this way, we aimed to separate passive engagement (i.e., listening) from active engagement (evaluating). The results showed that neural synchrony was a significant predictor of the likes and comments on YouTube, even after controlling for explicit liking ratings from the lab study. In contrast, frontal alpha asymmetry did not predict YouTube likes. Thus, engagement as represented by neural synchronization could be a valuable tool for predicting active as well as passive engagement with entertainment products. This underlines the value of neural similarity in predicting the impact of music and videos before their true effect in the crowd can be known.
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