I'm not suggesting that you write a song like you'll find outlined below, because that's just going to take a tired genre and make it even more so. But it is interesting to look at what makes up a hit these days. You can read the article for yourself, but allow me to summarize.
- The average intro length is 7.76 seconds. It's always been about getting to the point, and that never seems to change.
- The average song length is 3 minutes 47 seconds. This is a lot longer than it used to be, when 3 minute songs were the norm.
- Most songs have an ending. In fact only 10% of the songs have a traditional fade. Now that's refreshing, and apparently practical. According to the article, hard endings play better in the digital world, where a fade is more likely to make the listener skip on to the next song.
- Most songs are upbeat. In fact, only one song was a ballad. There were some songs with slower tempos, but for the most part, higher bpm songs played better with the listener.
- More songs by each artist. Most top artists now release more songs more often. Lady Gaga had 4 titles, Black Eyed Peas and Ke$ha had 3 and B.O.B had two in the top 10.
- The song's about "me." Where once upon a time, most songs were about "you," that's changed in today's hits. You see a lot more "I," "I'm," and "me" lyrics than "you' and "you're." Today's songwriters are a selfish bunch, it seems.
Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.