What should the length of a song be to get to Billboard's №1?
I recently read a Quartz Obsession article about shrinking pop songs. While I didn't do investigative data analysis of all the songs for the past three decades, I felt this pattern listening to new hits.
Photo by Marco Mons on Unsplash
As I don't use Spotify, I wasn't aware of just how big of a role the music streaming services play on the overall music revenues (they compose 75% in 2018, compared to 21% in 2013). The interesting thing is that it doesn't matter whether you are an artist who writes 7-minute long ballads or reads a minute-long rap, you are payed the same amount of money for a single stream nevertheless. From the economical point of view, writing shorter songs is more efficient.

That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to shrink the length of your album — like Drake, you can produce shorter songs, but just have a greater amount of them in a record. This also increases the chances of people listening to the entire album, which in turn multiplies streaming revenue. Keeping people engaged is much easier if your songs are short.

Looking at the trends, shrinking the duration of your songs is the way to go, but remember that the song is not defined by just that. It's the melody, the lyrics, and the style that make a song stand out.
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