In November 2015, Ellie Goulding's " On My Mind" crashed into the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 13. "On My Mind" is a catchy electro-pop tune with a "Message In A Bottle"-esque riff at its core; the lyrics (maybe) allude to a certain relationship with a certain famous someone who also wrote a song about said relationship. Around that same time, Ariana Grande's " Focus" climbed into the Billboard Top 10 with its horn-driven chug. Only a month later, Selena Gomez's minimalist jam " Hands to Myself," with its breathy, coquettish vocals, reached No. 7. The three hit singles are all very different but they have one key thing in common: they were all produced by Max Martin.
While stars like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift are the face and voice of songs that own the airwaves, there is an elite class of pop producers and songwriters helping to construct their sound. Martin and his peers churn out music for the masses, operating tirelessly behind the curtain to make melodies that worm their way into your brain, and shopping them around to the biggest artists available in hope of landing one more hit. But what are the odds that a great pop songwriter or super-producer will land that next hit? Here's a way to crunch the numbers.