How streaming affects the sound of pop music

There is someone who knows our music preferences very well. The jogging a playlist with exactly the music suggests, to which we prefer to move. He provided us on Monday with the songs that were the most likely to get us up.

There are streaming providers like Spotify or Apple Music that always
more playlists for all kinds of moods and genres on offer
to have. Meanwhile streaming in Germany is the most popular way
to listen to music – and the providers respond. But that has
not just economic effects. Streaming can also be the kind
change how music is written and heard.

Since mid-2018, audio streaming is the largest revenue segment of the
German music market. In addition to the streaming providers, too
advantages for the labels. Through data analysis of her streamed music
They can see when a listener clicks away – and react to it.

“Music is written differently”

“Music is written differently since streaming is so important,”
explains the musicologist Martin Lücke. For one thing is the
The beginning of a song has become even more important. Because the labels
only earn money on a stream if the listener lasts a song longer than
Listen for 30 seconds. “So as a label I try to do everything
that the listener does not click away, “says Lücke, who on Campus Berlin the
College Macromedia Music Industry teaches.

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The musicians are naturally more reserved in such statements. Of the
German DJ Felix Jaehn, whose remix of the song “Cheerleader” by
OMI was a big hit, he says, he’s making music
such considerations free. “I have to say, though, that the
Most of my songs get to the point pretty quickly and often
already have a hook in the intro, “he adds.

Gap tells of studies that are meant to show that singing is at work
Pop songs now used earlier, to as quickly as possible
Attract attention of the listener. There used to be hits that used to
only after long intros really started, for example “I’d do
anything for love “by Meat Loaf.

Which music you hear is mood-dependent

Next to the beginning of a pop hit is the mood of a song
more important. “I come home and say to Siri or another
Smart Speaker: ‘Now play chill-out music’, “says Peter
Tschmuck, who works at the University of Music and Performing Arts in
Vienna teaches. The majority of consumers are not so keen
interested in who a particular song is from. What music you hear,
be mood-dependent.

“Dinnertime Acoustics”, “Deep Focus” or “Movin ‘and Groovin'”:
Songs that match certain moods or genres are created by
Editors or algorithms assigned to playlists. What the relevance
is concerned, playlists are the new albums, are gaps
and jewelery safe.

A popular playlist on Spotify is called “Tropical House”. she is
full of danceable, poppy electro hits that somehow look like one
Package holidays in the South Seas sound. Felix Jaehn is one of the
most popular representatives of the genre. He is “quite sure” that
the Tropical House list has been successful.

“I was
one of the first artists to become known in 2014 through Spotify
“, he says.” In the meantime – almost on Spotify – I almost got it
two billion streams on my songs and remixes. This is
crazy and would certainly be without the genre-specific playlists
like Tropical House impossible. ”

Also interesting: Apple Music – on the way to new market power

Spotify has over two billion lists

It is especially important for the labels to be included in the playlists
Find. “It quickly became apparent that the playlists are quite different
important Tastemaker are, “says Tschmuck, but what influence
Labels on the streaming services?

Of course you will be contacted by the labels and get in contact with
them, explains Maik Pallasch, head of the German
Spotify music department. “But you can not be a licensor
Determine if and what gets into the Spotify playlists. ”

A speaker
Apple Music does not want to work with labels
But also emphasizes the independence of
Editors who populate the playlists. There are now thousands
such curated lists.

At Spotify, there are 400 curated ones in Germany alone
Playlists daily or weekly of a total of six
Editors are re-equipped. In addition, there are up to 10
personal playlists by algorithms listeners for them
suggest suitable music. Overall – including that of users
created playlists – there are over two billion lists, like
Pallasch informed.

Will pop music become more and more similar in the end?

This could develop a kind of momentum. “Some
Songwriters may have the sound of a composer
certain genres that are popular with streaming providers, “says Lücke.” And there will definitely be attempts by the labels
to search for artists that fit in specific playlists. ”

Frank
Briegmann, the boss of Universal, contradicts. “We choose artists
according to their talent and potential, “he says
a: “In genres such as EDM or hip-hop, where the
Streaming share of the business is especially big, of course
Also suitable playlists included in the considerations. “

Will pop music become more and more similar in the end? As far as you want
the experts do not go. This reproach is as old as pop music
itself, says Tschmuck. Felix Jaehn is sure: “Music
does not work according to patterns, formulas or logical thinking. ”

And also gap looks similar. You could go through a lot though
Calculate data analysis, he explains. “But in the end there is in the
Pop music is still the factor of the unknown – fortunately. ”

Also interesting: Spotify’s European boss Michael Krause talks about growth strategies and marketing of the streaming platform

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