If you’re really paying attention to the pop charts, you may have noticed a trend when it comes to how the big hits are structured. Close to 40 per cent of all the No. 1 hits get to the chorus within 15 seconds of the start of the song. That’s up from 20 per cent in 2017 and from less than 10 per cent in 2016.
There’s also been a shift in the way songs begin. U2’s Where the Streets Have No Name from 1987’s The Joshua Tree doesn’t feature a peep from Bono until almost two minutes have passed. Today, average song intro times hover around five or 10 seconds.
What’s going on? Blame our shift to streaming when it comes to music consumption. In a wholly unexpected twist, the instant availability of 55 million songs has changed the way we treat music.
Earlier this year, I was invited to present something on the subject at a TEDx event in Winnipeg. I called it “Streaming Is Killing Music.”
(Watch the TEDx talk in the video, top.)
Alan Cross is a broadcaster with 102.1 the Edge and Q107, and a commentator for Global News.