Old-fashioned intros because every second counts for songwriters in the age of streaming

Pop song intros are being cut short as the music industry seeks to make money from short attention spans on streaming services.

Famous introductions like those heard on the Doors track The endor the Jackson Five I want you to come backhave been increasingly omitted from modern singles.

Songwriters make money streaming services like Spotify based on how much of each track audiences are listening to, prompting music industry players to ditch long intros and go straight to hooking into a trying to keep listeners attention.

According to a study by the Press Association (PA) of all UK chart toppers since 1952, the average length of hit singles has fallen from a peak of around four minutes to just three minutes in recent years.

James Masterton, analyst and chart historian, explained that “the songs lost their intros, with streaming to blame”.

He added: “You only get paid – and a play only counts for the charts – if you listen for more than 30 seconds. People still won’t sit down to a song they don’t like, so the production is now focusing on the essentials of the song as quickly as possible, to hook the listener.

Dramatic key changes were once a staple of pop songs, especially boy band ballads, but they have also fallen into disuse, with only one hit in the past 10 years featuring the kind of key change that once was. so popular.

That’s a far cry from 1950s tastes, according to news agency research, which found that 43% of all chart-topping songs included a key change in 1953. It remained fairly common even until to the 80s, with 29 percent of number ones featuring this kind of tonal shift in 1986.

Crossfades have also fallen into disuse, with almost no number one tracks fading in recent years, down from 100% in 1983.

The research has been compiled to mark 70 years of the UK charts.

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