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Mini Skirt Attention Spans in the Modern Music Business By: C

Is it me? Or does the attention span of today's music consumer seem relatively non-existent. Radio singles appear to be getting shorter in order to sell more advertising per hour. Not sure if there are many songs with a guitar lead solo or fiddle solo anymore. Will we eventually wind up with 1 chorus, 1 verse, then outro-into-commercial-break songs?

More and more artists are releasing EP's of 4 to 6 songs and releasing new music more frequently. It's becoming more rare for an artist to release an album and then wait 2 years to release the next one. I think you will see more and more artists releasing EP's every 6 to 8 months in order to churn the new music cycle, instead of 1 album with 12 songs releasing every 18 months to 2 years. Same amount of music in same amount of time. Just the music industry reacting to shorter attention spans and artists controlling shelf space at Walmart with more product. I asked several DJ’s about the changing trends:

How much (average length of time) of a song do you play? Why?

DJ Debonair (On-Air Radio DJ, Touring DJ, Club DJ, Nashville): “Speaking as a commercial radio dj, in mixshow format typically 2-3 mins, bc the audience has a short attention span.”

DJ Mark Mac (Club DJ, Las Vegas): “Depending on the song determines at times how long I let it play. I have noticed if I play a song like Low by Flo Rida more than 1 verse people get bored. Sometimes I only play the hook. I can let the songs play longer more towards the end of the night due to the drunkeness of the crowd….”

DJ Deuce (Club DJ, Long Island, NY, Country Blendz Mix Show): “When it comes to country line dance shows I do, the crowd wants to hear the whole song from beginning to end. When I do the "Country Blendz" concerts and shows its a blending of songs probably 2 minutes or so of each.”

Music seems to be becoming disposable to people. Videos, music in general, and TV programming is being reduced to shorter forms meant for streaming on a smartphone or handheld device. Music video director, David Abbott of refers to it as “Snackable Programming”. I think part of this shortening of attention may be due to the shift to digital media and streaming. The new music business in action.

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