A look at the average length of individual songs in albums over time has revealed that each individual song in a single album has become shorter. For example, in analyzing Kendrick Lamar’s albums, it was found that in the album Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City (released in 2012), the 5th song starts on the 19th minute. In the album To Pimp A Butterfly (released in 2015), the 5th song starts on the 16th minute. In the album DAMN (released in 2017), the 5th song starts in the 12th minute.
It is possible that streaming has had that effect, because streaming platforms allow a greater level of choice for an individual user. It’s possible that in order to keep one listening, the songs have become shorter, so the novelty of a new song comes up faster. The fact that you have so many options available means you could listen to a song, and then search for new ones. It could be possible that shorter songs could lead to slightly higher royalty payments, as shorter songs could equate to more plays on a streaming platform.
Do you think this trend will continue?
Special thanks to Dan Kopf for allowing me to post a link to his article here!