How Social Media is changing Music Production ⏯

Happy Friday folks!

If like me, the dawn of the weekend is something you look forward to for new music releases, you probably also share my disappointment with the fact that how so much of the new stuff has started to sound the same 😴

Speaking of the dawn of the weekend, Abel Tesfaye, aka, ‘The Weeknd’ is dropping his latest album ‘Dawn FM’ this weekend.

Talk about Triple Alliterations 😉

While his last album ‘After Hours’ broke pretty much every Spotify streaming record, and got embroiled in controversy for not winning any Grammy awards (as irrelevant as they’re off late), Weeknd’s latest album seems like anything but not ‘out there’ 👇🏻

Guess that’s what Abel looks like on a weekday 💀

However, the point is that once an artist reaches The Weeknd’s level of success, it really doesn’t matter if you play by the rules of the game, your fanbase is loyal enough to engage and support your work.

For the lesser mortals, the long-tail of artists (8 Million on Spotify alone) have no option but to bow down to the distribution mechanism controlled by streaming algorithms ⛓

Nearly 60,000 songs are uploaded on Spotify every day, yet just 13,000 artists out of those 8 Million producing these songs make more than $50k/year, from streaming royalties 💵

My point?

While putting music out there is easier than ever thanks to streaming platforms, breaking out of this deluge of music remains as tough as ever ❌

24-year old American singer Chelsea Cutler, who has 9 Million plus monthly listeners on Spotify, recently took to Twitter to talk about how clueless many artists have become in figuring out how to break out from the crowd 👇🏻

https://twitter.com/chelseacutler/status/1478194079599149059?s=20

The lines between an ‘artist’ and a ‘creator’ are blurring, and with TikTok and other social media algorithms dominating how music is discovered, artists are at a loss to figure out whether to follow their individual creative process, or pivot according to the short attention span cycles of social media platforms.

When looking at the data, Cutler isn’t wrong.

In fact, despite all the political backdrop surrounding TikTok (here in India, it remains banned), the relevance of the platform on Internet Culture just keeps growing.

TikTok now boasts of 1 Billion active users, and the traffic on its platform surpassed that of Google itself in 2021 😳

Going Viral 📈

Whether it was Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’, Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Savage’ or Drake’s ‘In My Feelings ‘ challenge, songs going viral based off TikTok trends is barely a one-time phenomena.

With just 10–15 seconds packed with audio-visual experience, TikTok seems to be giving artists a shot at charting on Billboard & gaining streams like no other 🤷🏻‍♀️

In a Twitter thread this week, we broke down rapper DaBaby’s launch into the mainstream Hip-Hop scene in 2019 as he used a savvy self-marketing strategy.

https://twitter.com/clubincentify/status/1478230810452889601?s=20

But what is it about his songs that makes them so marketable?

He developed a remarkable style by following a fast-paced song structure formula.

Today’s music consumption demands shorter, quick & crisp consumable music, owing to the shrinking attention span and the “skipping culture”.

Spotify is pretty open about the fact that its algorithm negatively rates a track if it’s skipped within the first 30 seconds, so it doesn’t make sense for artists to wait forever for the hook of the song.

So you might not appreciate a 8-minute long track by The Cure, but one playlist with 20 3-min tracks will suit your fast-paced morning ☕️

This video breaks down the logic really well 👇🏻

https://youtu.be/WJsnlvqGmf4

As for artists, the length of the song seems a variable-it’s the number of plays on each track that matters.

The increase in songs on Billboard Hot 100 under 2:30 mins over the years is simply attesting to this fact 👇🏻

Artists really are taking the ‘Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus’ bit seriously 🤷‍♂️

Our take on this?

The Internet has democratised the ability for artists to put their work out there, resulting in a net increase in the number of ‘creators’, with access to an unparalleled distribution channel.

However, breaking out from the noise remains as tough as ever, and with algorithms dictating what gets put on the front-row shelves of your streaming experience, with it rises the power of the Big Tech companies to dictate terms.

Spotify launching Discovery Mode has already been controversial, something we covered recently, and this bias is controlling what users are consuming.

Are you also bored with the algorithmic suggestions of whichever platform you use to stream music?

If so, DM us on Instagram or Twitter, for a sneak peek into the next version of the product we’re building to change how users discover and share music ⏯

That’s it for this week, hope you have a good Weeknd 😉

Originally published at https://incentify.substack.com on January 7, 2022.

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The Social Network for Music 🎧

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The Social Network for Music 🎧

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