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Are we about to enter the age of “micro-songs?”

Those who study the singles charges have noted that songs are getting shorter. In fact, the average length of a hit song shrunk by a full 38 seconds between 2009 and 2019 (3:42 vs. 3:04). The trend continues today.

Why? Let’s start with this explainer followed up by this post on Spotify’s blog.

Then we have this video.

TikTok, with its original 30-second time limit, didn’t help. (We’ll see where things go now that TikTok videos can now run up to 10 minutes). Instagram’s short attention span programming didn’t help either.

The Pocket Gods, a quirky/feisty English indie band, is well acquainted with the ways of Spotify. They’ve created a career of releasing HUNDREDS of songs, all slightly over 30 seconds. Why? Because once any song hits the 30-second mark, Spotify continues the song to be played and pays out in full. Why bother writing anything longer?

After much lobbying, Mark Lee of Pocket Gods managed to secure a meeting with Spotify to explain their case. The upshot from the meeting had Spotify acknowledging that we’re heading towards an age of ultra-short songs and that the company is going to change their playlist submission rule so that 30-second songs would be accepted for posting.

Are we now heading toward a deluge of micro-songs? Here’s an example from The Pocket Gods.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37825 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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