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> Are radio edits getting shorter in length?
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awardinary
post May 4 2018, 11:31 PM
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Just comparing a number of the songs within the Radio 1 playlist and just in general really it seems that the length of songs being produced is much shorter than they used to be. It was once commonplace for a song averaging between 3 and a half minutes to 4 and a half minutes to be the main single version of the song that would come to be the popular version known by the majority. Now though, in a music culture that’s heavily influenced by urban music, the song lengths struggle to go above 3 Minutes in many cases, with some less than 2:30 in length, such as the recent Top 40 single by Bazzi which only lasted 2:11 in length.

So why is there a general trend to reduce the amount of music we are getting from artists? blink.gif
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Cqmerqn
post May 4 2018, 11:32 PM
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Bazzi is just a coincidence
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JosephAvery
post May 4 2018, 11:34 PM
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It all links back to Spotify and streaming - shorter songs means a greater chance of replayability! Record labels would rather somebody played a 2 minute song twice than a 4 minute song once. I mean personally I'd rather tracks didn't dip below, say, 2:30 at worst, but it certainly explains the motives.

This is potentially where a song like Sign of the Times would struggle on Spotify - obviously that did much better on sales, partially because it's not the most streaming friendly song in the first place but the fact its length was approaching 6 minutes meant less chance of replayability.
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Midge
post May 4 2018, 11:37 PM
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We actually went through a phase at the start of the decade with dance music where UK radio edits were often shorter than 2:30 let alone 3:00. The "We No Speak Americano" radio edit, like "Mine", was 2:11 long for instance!
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awardinary
post May 4 2018, 11:41 PM
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QUOTE(ubɹǝɯbƆ @ May 5 2018, 12:32 AM) *
Bazzi is just a coincidence

Is it though?

Here’s some other examples of short songs under 3 minutes trending at the moment (from shortest to longest);

Bebe Rexha – Meant To Be (2:44)
Paloma Faith – Make Your Own Kind Of Music (2:44)
Nines – I See You Shining (2:46)
XXXTENTACION – SAD! (2:47)
Sigrid – High Five (2:49)
EO – German (2:51)
Craig David’s – Magic (2:53)
Luis & Demi – Échame La Culpa (2:53)
Blossoms – I Can’t Stand It (2:58)

The majority of others you check will be just over 3 minutes in length and hardly any over 4 minutes.
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Midge
post May 4 2018, 11:43 PM
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I'd literally say the biggest reason is what Joseph already said - replayability factor = more mula earned.
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Bré
post May 4 2018, 11:50 PM
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It's 100% because of streaming figures, especially in hip-hop the new trend is to release albums with a ton of tracks which are all or mostly fairly short to maximise streaming numbers and therefore streaming equivalent album units. It's nothing to do with 'radio edits', it's the songs themselves that are getting shorter.
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vidcapper
post May 5 2018, 06:46 AM
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QUOTE(Bré @ May 5 2018, 12:50 AM) *
It's 100% because of streaming figures, especially in hip-hop the new trend is to release albums with a ton of tracks which are all or mostly fairly short to maximise streaming numbers and therefore streaming equivalent album units. It's nothing to do with 'radio edits', it's the songs themselves that are getting shorter.


If as you suggest, the motivation is to manipulate the charts, the it's something the OCC would need to look info - perhaps allowing only songs longer than x amount to contribute to streaming? unsure.gif
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Robbie
post May 5 2018, 08:43 AM
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QUOTE(vidcapper @ May 5 2018, 07:46 AM) *
If as you suggest, the motivation is to manipulate the charts, the it's something the OCC would need to look info - perhaps allowing only songs longer than x amount to contribute to streaming? unsure.gif
There is a minimum time limit already in place albeit the limit is a mere 30 seconds. But there are restrictions anyway that help prevent chart manipulation in that it doesn't matter how many tracks are on an album, only a maximum of the 12 most streamed tracks will count towards the streaming sales of an album. Streams of any remaining album tracks are simply ignored for calculating album streaming sales.
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lewistgreen
post May 5 2018, 08:53 AM
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I have noticed that many dance tracks now are given a radio edit just for Spotify and nowhere else! Tracks like Patrick Topping - Be Sharp Say Nowt, PAWSA - The Groovy Cat. It's definitely all for them replays but I welcome it because makes those sorts of tracks more accessible.

This post has been edited by lewistgreen: May 5 2018, 08:53 AM
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vidcapper
post May 5 2018, 08:53 AM
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QUOTE(Robbie @ May 5 2018, 09:43 AM) *
There is a minimum time limit already in place albeit the limit is a mere 30 seconds. But there are restrictions anyway that help prevent chart manipulation in that it doesn't matter how many tracks are on an album, only a maximum of the 12 most streamed tracks will count towards the streaming sales of an album. Streams of any remaining album tracks are simply ignored for calculating album streaming sales.


Ak, OK - not a problem then.
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Jüpiter
post May 5 2018, 09:13 AM
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Tbh I rarely listen to longer songs anyway...

Don't they say the trend is for younger people to have shorter attention spans? That pairing with Radio 1's now-constant drive to aim younger might be connected.
I remember when I was a young teen Radio 1 aimed at 16-20s, but changed actively at a point to instead aim at mainly 14-18s and there was a big furore about it at the time.
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AcerBen
post May 5 2018, 10:36 AM
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Can definitely see why keeping it short is good from a streaming point of view. It's also good for the radio - stations like to cram in as many songs as possible, so if you're short, you're more likely to make the playlist. This is particularly true of dance records - in the 2000s there was also a trend for really short UK radio edits of dance songs, sometimes brutally short!
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The Hit Parade
post May 5 2018, 12:30 PM
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I'm not a young person and I quite like this trend to shorter songs. Nothing worse in pop than a great three-minute song that's dragged out to 4:51.
And of course in the early days of the chart songs used to be shorter anyway.

Paloma Faith's version of Make Your Own Kind Of Music is actually longer than the 1969 Mama Cass version (which was 2:22).
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Bré
post May 5 2018, 12:35 PM
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I was referring to the US charts by the way. The OCC album chart streaming rules make a lot more sense.
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awardinary
post May 5 2018, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE(The Hit Parade @ May 5 2018, 01:30 PM) *
Nothing worse in pop than a great three-minute song that's dragged out to 4:51.

I don’t know, I’d argue that any song should be recorded to the maximum length appropriate without going overboard, but, that there should ALWAYS be an album version and a single version (the radio edit) that is an appropriate length to the commercial audiences. It just seems a pity that when a song which has great quality is cut short it’s sort of spoilt and you feel like you’ve been cheated out of an extra minute of music maybe.

I just think that shorter songs are more for forgettable than longer ones and age worse too.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post May 5 2018, 07:24 PM
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QUOTE(JosephAvery @ May 5 2018, 12:34 AM) *
It all links back to Spotify and streaming - shorter songs means a greater chance of replayability! Record labels would rather somebody played a 2 minute song twice than a 4 minute song once. I mean personally I'd rather tracks didn't dip below, say, 2:30 at worst, but it certainly explains the motives.



This roughly translates as: A lot of Spotify's general userbase are simpletons with a short attention span.
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Cqmerqn
post May 5 2018, 07:26 PM
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Just because a song is shorter doesn’t mean that it’s not as good!
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deepinside
post May 7 2018, 12:04 AM
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Yeah the short attention span on streaming cause the songs are getting shorter as opposed to 1950s/1960s where vinyl technology limitation at the time forced to made the song duration shorter.

https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/short-is-sweet/amp/


This post has been edited by deepinside: May 7 2018, 12:14 AM
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Riser
post May 7 2018, 03:09 AM
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QUOTE(awardinary @ May 5 2018, 09:23 AM) *
I don’t know, I’d argue that any song should be recorded to the maximum length appropriate without going overboard, but, that there should ALWAYS be an album version and a single version (the radio edit) that is an appropriate length to the commercial audiences. It just seems a pity that when a song which has great quality is cut short it’s sort of spoilt and you feel like you’ve been cheated out of an extra minute of music maybe.

I just think that shorter songs are more for forgettable than longer ones and age worse too.
I disagree with this, having two versions with different lengths seems unnecessary for the majority of singles. I'm guessing at least half of the songs you hear on the radio aren't cut short at all? Most of the ones that are do feel like they're too short so I agree with you there about feeling cheated, but I don't think that's the case with every song under 3:00 or 2:30. For me it's interesting to hear a full song crammed into 2:45 or so, and to see a variety of song lengths in the chart - but certainly better when the songs sound like they're naturally that length and not down to pressure from Spotify/radio/the industry in general.
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