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November 23, 2020 3:23 pm  #1


Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

Watching the American Music Awards last night I saw something that has been happening for a while. It is quite noticeable on many hit music stations.  Current popular (Top 40) songs are getting shorter.

I googled this and low and behold an article came up about song length and the Spotify effect...
https://www.prsformusic.com/m-magazine/features/song-length-the-spotify-effect/#:~:text=Pop%20songs%20are%20one%20minute,they%20were%2020%20years%20ago.
Pop songs are on average one minute and 13 seconds shorter than 20 years ago.

Going to Spotify and checking out the most popular songs today, take a look at the song times..
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXcBWIGoYBM5M 
Only one song is over 4 minutes in the top 50 songs on Spotify today.  Many  are well under 3 minutes. Now most selections have various mixes and versions or club cuts that are longer, but it is interesting to see that the radio or original version of today's hit songs are getting shorter in time.

The running times of current radio songs are  similar to songs from the rock and roll era of the 50's and early 60's.


 

Last edited by paterson1 (November 23, 2020 3:25 pm)

 

November 23, 2020 5:52 pm  #2


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

paterson1 wrote:

Watching the American Music Awards last night I saw something that has been happening for a while. It is quite noticeable on many hit music stations.  Current popular (Top 40) songs are getting shorter.

I googled this and low and behold an article came up about song length and the Spotify effect...
https://www.prsformusic.com/m-magazine/features/song-length-the-spotify-effect/#:~:text=Pop%20songs%20are%20one%20minute,they%20were%2020%20years%20ago.
Pop songs are on average one minute and 13 seconds shorter than 20 years ago.

Going to Spotify and checking out the most popular songs today, take a look at the song times..
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXcBWIGoYBM5M 
Only one song is over 4 minutes in the top 50 songs on Spotify today.  Many  are well under 3 minutes. Now most selections have various mixes and versions or club cuts that are longer, but it is interesting to see that the radio or original version of today's hit songs are getting shorter in time.

The running times of current radio songs are  similar to songs from the rock and roll era of the 50's and early 60's.

 

Too bad the charts haven't yet recaptured the spirit of diversity that characterized top 40 at the time. For anyone who might be thinking this is some  "old fart" remark, check the songs that are on there.



 

 

November 23, 2020 6:31 pm  #3


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

kevjo wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

Watching the American Music Awards last night I saw something that has been happening for a while. It is quite noticeable on many hit music stations.  Current popular (Top 40) songs are getting shorter.

I googled this and low and behold an article came up about song length and the Spotify effect...
https://www.prsformusic.com/m-magazine/features/song-length-the-spotify-effect/#:~:text=Pop%20songs%20are%20one%20minute,they%20were%2020%20years%20ago.
Pop songs are on average one minute and 13 seconds shorter than 20 years ago.

Going to Spotify and checking out the most popular songs today, take a look at the song times..
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXcBWIGoYBM5M 
Only one song is over 4 minutes in the top 50 songs on Spotify today.  Many  are well under 3 minutes. Now most selections have various mixes and versions or club cuts that are longer, but it is interesting to see that the radio or original version of today's hit songs are getting shorter in time.

The running times of current radio songs are  similar to songs from the rock and roll era of the 50's and early 60's.

 

Too bad the charts haven't yet recaptured the spirit of diversity that characterized top 40 at the time. For anyone who might be thinking this is some  "old fart" remark, check the songs that are on there. 

You make a point. In the Top 40 days, before everything was so narrowly focused, a typical playlist would have Petula Clark, The Who, Dean Martin, The Beatles, Peter & Gordon, Mama Cass, The Supremes, Nancy Sinatra, and Steppenwolf. You can't get a more diverse line-up than that! There literally was something for everyone. 

 

November 23, 2020 6:45 pm  #4


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

Have I noticed something about current pop music?  Yes it sounds like crap. No talent or much of it at all and its hard to decipher particularly female voices the difference between the vocalists.

 

November 23, 2020 6:51 pm  #5


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

RadioActive wrote:

kevjo wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

Watching the American Music Awards last night I saw something that has been happening for a while. It is quite noticeable on many hit music stations.  Current popular (Top 40) songs are getting shorter.

I googled this and low and behold an article came up about song length and the Spotify effect...
https://www.prsformusic.com/m-magazine/features/song-length-the-spotify-effect/#:~:text=Pop%20songs%20are%20one%20minute,they%20were%2020%20years%20ago.
Pop songs are on average one minute and 13 seconds shorter than 20 years ago.

Going to Spotify and checking out the most popular songs today, take a look at the song times..
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXcBWIGoYBM5M 
Only one song is over 4 minutes in the top 50 songs on Spotify today.  Many  are well under 3 minutes. Now most selections have various mixes and versions or club cuts that are longer, but it is interesting to see that the radio or original version of today's hit songs are getting shorter in time.

The running times of current radio songs are  similar to songs from the rock and roll era of the 50's and early 60's.

 

Too bad the charts haven't yet recaptured the spirit of diversity that characterized top 40 at the time. For anyone who might be thinking this is some  "old fart" remark, check the songs that are on there. 

You make a point. In the Top 40 days, before everything was so narrowly focused, a typical playlist would have Petula Clark, The Who, Dean Martin, The Beatles, Peter & Gordon, Mama Cass, The Supremes, Nancy Sinatra, and Steppenwolf. You can't get a more diverse line-up than that! There literally was something for everyone. 

"Something for everyone" becomes "Nothing to nobody" in the era of infinite choice. Top 40 is more of a genre in itself now.
 


 
 

November 23, 2020 8:10 pm  #6


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

Looking at the Nov 21st Hot 100, the top 15 supports the shorter song trend. Five songs are under three minutes. Nine tunes are below 3:30. The longest song is Laugh Now, Cry Later by Drake/Lil Durk which clocks in at 4:21.

 

November 23, 2020 8:57 pm  #7


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

mace wrote:

Looking at the Nov 21st Hot 100, the top 15 supports the shorter song trend. Five songs are under three minutes. Nine tunes are below 3:30. The longest song is Laugh Now, Cry Later by Drake/Lil Durk which clocks in at 4:21.

That's sort of why I put up Spotify's popular new streaming cuts for today, since this chart shows the song's running times which are mostly quite a bit shorter than popular songs from 10-40 years ago.  

Here is another Spotify chart that showed what songs were the most popular for streaming in Canada yesterday.  Notice all of the Christmas songs.  I bet the snowfall yesterday in Ontario put a lot of people in a brief Christmas mood.  This chart has a lot more variety of music, but maybe also shows why some stations are playing Christmas music right now.

https://spotifycharts.com/regional/ca/daily/latest

 

     Thread Starter
 

November 23, 2020 10:59 pm  #8


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

there's also the incentive to start the "hook" much earlier in a song, regardless of its length.  for example, "With streaming now accounting for up to 80% of music revenue, and artists getting paid per play as long as a listener stays with the song for 30 seconds, there’s a huge incentive to cut to the hook quickly. Nearly 40 percent of chart-topping songs now reach their chorus within the first 15 seconds, or about four times more than in 2000."

the above was found in the link here.  On the other hand, according to a recent Alan Cross article, it takes about 650,000 streams per month to make a $15 minimum wage

 

November 24, 2020 1:29 am  #9


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

splunge wrote:

there's also the incentive to start the "hook" much earlier in a song, regardless of its length.  for example, "With streaming now accounting for up to 80% of music revenue, and artists getting paid per play as long as a listener stays with the song for 30 seconds, there’s a huge incentive to cut to the hook quickly. Nearly 40 percent of chart-topping songs now reach their chorus within the first 15 seconds, or about four times more than in 2000."

the above was found in the link here.  On the other hand, according to a recent Alan Cross article, it takes about 650,000 streams per month to make a $15 minimum wage

I was coming here to write the same thing.  With the next new song (and a million more) available by clicking "next" the hook has been moved up by necessity.  People don't hang around long.

As for the posters above criticising the current pop landscape, your grandparents hated your music too.  It's the circle of life.

 

November 24, 2020 3:09 am  #10


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

markow202 wrote:

Have I noticed something about current pop music?  Yes it sounds like crap. No talent or much of it at all and its hard to decipher particularly female voices the difference between the vocalists.

I agree for the most part, and there's way too much Auto-Tune
😏🥱😐

Christine and the Queens can knock your socks off. "Batshit Crazy" by dance duo Sofi Tukker's an excellent Prince meets Right Said Fred classic pop song, so there is music out there these days that doesn't suck for lack of a better term.

BUT if I still had a radio gig I would be seriously supporting the music of Finneas (Billie Eilish's brother) who is starting to build some steam.

"I Lost A Friend" and a lot of his other songs have the feel of Elton John and Billy Joel. His videos are clever. He writes, plays the piano and other instruments, produces, and is one of the major reasons Ms. Eilish is doing well in the current pop music scene.

Last edited by betaylored (November 24, 2020 3:21 am)

 

November 24, 2020 8:46 am  #11


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

Prod Guy wrote:

splunge wrote:

there's also the incentive to start the "hook" much earlier in a song, regardless of its length.  for example, "With streaming now accounting for up to 80% of music revenue, and artists getting paid per play as long as a listener stays with the song for 30 seconds, there’s a huge incentive to cut to the hook quickly. Nearly 40 percent of chart-topping songs now reach their chorus within the first 15 seconds, or about four times more than in 2000."

the above was found in the link here.  On the other hand, according to a recent Alan Cross article, it takes about 650,000 streams per month to make a $15 minimum wage

I was coming here to write the same thing.  With the next new song (and a million more) available by clicking "next" the hook has been moved up by necessity.  People don't hang around long.

As for the posters above criticising the current pop landscape, your grandparents hated your music too.  It's the circle of life.

Years ago WKSE had a jingle that said "KISS98.5... Playing the hits your kids will hate 20 years from now"

 

November 24, 2020 12:18 pm  #12


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

Not meaning to be critical of current music at all, just observing that the songs by and large were getting shorter.  And all of the comments regarding hooks, people not always listening long to a new song and streaming make sense.

We all remember our parents saying "where is the music in that?" when listening to the radio or favourite album for the 4000th time when we were growing up. 

One thing that I really like is the fact with all of the social media, young people and some not so young can become stars and have success with no radio play or record company support.  All of the styles and sheer volume of music available today is unbelievable.    Also the fact that music can be produced quite professionally at home with a few computers.  No budgets of hundreds of thousands of dollars to put out music today.

Anyone can put out music, or make a video today and have a place to present and showcase it to anyone who wants to listen or watch.  That is very cool.

Any SOWNY members ever put some material out there?? 

 

     Thread Starter
 

November 24, 2020 12:46 pm  #13


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

I miss the good old days of music when local Canadian acts, like Rush, would release 30 minute ballads about wizards and trees.

 

November 27, 2020 3:22 am  #14


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

Geez, I can hardly tell when one song ends and the next begins; they all sound the same.

 

November 27, 2020 7:55 am  #15


Re: Have You Noticed Something Odd About Current Pop Top 40 Music?

When I was in my teens, my dad's standard comment was always "You still prefer that to music?"