Author Topic: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?  (Read 517 times)

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Offline WildRanger

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Spotify somehow shows a mass popularity of certain music artists today. I noticed that Spotify users are much more of a hit song listeners than album listeners. The most streamed songs by certain bands/solo artists are far and away their most popular songs or biggest hits, songs that everyone knows.

For example, these are the most streamed AC/DC songs on Spotify:
1. Back in Black (over 304 million)
2. Highway to Hell (near 290 million)
3. Thunderstuck (over 288 million)

The most streamed Queen songs:
1. Bohemian Rhapsody (over 515 million)
2. Don't Stop Me Now (over 379 million)
3. Another One Bites the Dust (over 328 million)

Looking at Spotify numbers I see that today, in 2018, itís all about the singles, not albums when it comes to what masses of young people around the world are listening. Just hits, hits and more hits. Even if those hit songs are extremely overplayed on the radio, it doesn't matter, they are still the most listened songs on Spotify. Big minority of Spotify users are into albums and deep cuts.
Pretty much all people on this board are album listeners, so I don't know whether you will find this to be strange or not.

Discuss, please.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 03:19:02 PM by WildRanger »

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 03:07:23 PM »
Is that any different from before when it comes to popular music?  Seems when I was younger before streaming, casual listeners still only bought albums for the hit songs.  Or would just buy the single CD.  Streaming services just make it easier to listen those popular songs

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 03:12:23 PM »
It has ALWAYS been about the singles and not the albums for the listeners of a good portion of music. Spotify confirms a trend that has always been there.
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Offline WildRanger

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 03:16:43 PM »
It has ALWAYS been about the singles and not the albums for the listeners of a good portion of music. Spotify confirms a trend that has always been there.

The Dark Side of the Moon has no hits, but it's the third best-selling album of all time.

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 03:21:34 PM »
Money ... it's a hit.

Back to the main topic, there was a time when you couldn't find singles inside the albums. I mean, they were sold separately.

Offline Parama

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 03:22:11 PM »
Honestly it's the opposite. Entire albums regularly show up on the charts almost exclusively because of streaming. If you're only using literally decades-old reference points of course people are only still listening to the popular stuff off those but as far as modern success goes it's pretty much the opposite. One of the songs that was #1 for like two months this year was an album cut that only became a single after the fact, lol
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 03:25:25 PM »
It has no hits??

Comfortably Numb wasn't a hit? Money wasn't a hit? I grew up with those as radio staples.




Spotify just lists a band's top played songs at the top of each band's page. I don't see any big deal with that. It's a great way to sample a band's music, instead of dropping the needle on some random album track.

And another question? When was it ever not about singles? I think buying music digitally has decreased the need to buy full albums, but I'm not sure what Spotify has to do with that.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2018, 04:26:23 PM »
It's not a surprise at all, especially when you think that Spotify has a lot of pre made playlists or 'band radio' playlists that feature all the hits. That's why they are all the most played songs. For instance my brother in law is a casual metal fan, he mainly listens when he goes to the gym. I know for a fact, as we've discussed it, that he listens to pre made 'gym workout metal' playlists. These sort of things are just jam packed with the hits of bands, past and present.

The casual listener (which the vast majority of music fans are) just want the hits, they literally aren't bothered by much else. That's why the radio is still a thing  :lol

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2018, 04:53:48 PM »
It has no hits??

Comfortably Numb wasn't a hit? Money wasn't a hit? I grew up with those as radio staples.

Huh...my copy of TDSOTM doesn't have "Comfortably Numb" on it.  ;)


And I'll just echo what everyone else is saying - singles have always been a driving force in music listener's habits. Why else were vinyl singles a thing in the 50s and 60s? Even when CDs came around, there were still singles, even the smaller mini-CDs were singles for a time. The industry always pumps them out, and makes singles out of album songs - becoming digital just makes it easier to put out and quicker to digest, and easier for labels to see higher numbers on them. Going digital was probably the BEST thing for singles, TBH, because it allowed music listeners to download and buy the songs they wanted without resorting to a whole album, or at least, not have to hunt down a specific CD single (or wait for a singles compilation).

It wouldn't surprise me if more bands and artists just start writing and releasing JUST SINGLES in the next 15-20 years, and have a continuous output of singles and EPs rather than build up material over the course of years to make an album. Write a few songs here and there over 4-6 months, then make a couple singles or an EP, then go on tour, then do the same thing again next year.

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2018, 05:16:47 PM »
It has no hits??

Comfortably Numb wasn't a hit? Money wasn't a hit? I grew up with those as radio staples.

Huh...my copy of TDSOTM doesn't have "Comfortably Numb" on it.  ;)

 :D

I wasn't sure but I posted anyway. I figured someone would correct me. :lol
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2018, 05:46:32 PM »
 :lol

Either way, I didn't live the time, but thought Money was a hit song from the album.  My parents loved that song when I was a kid.  I remember a video of them doing that song at karaoke when I was a kid.  :lol

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2018, 06:39:56 PM »
It has no hits??

Comfortably Numb wasn't a hit? Money wasn't a hit? I grew up with those as radio staples.

Huh...my copy of TDSOTM doesn't have "Comfortably Numb" on it.  ;)

 :D

I wasn't sure but I posted anyway. I figured someone would correct me. :lol


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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 09:43:52 PM »
Honestly it's the opposite. Entire albums regularly show up on the charts almost exclusively because of streaming. If you're only using literally decades-old reference points of course people are only still listening to the popular stuff off those but as far as modern success goes it's pretty much the opposite. One of the songs that was #1 for like two months this year was an album cut that only became a single after the fact, lol

This is a really good point.

If we were talking about iTunes, I could see this argument being made, because it provided a very inexpensive avenue for those who mainly care about one individual song. But with Spotify, there's no added cost for the user to listen to the artist's other songs if they want to check them out.
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2018, 10:40:55 PM »
people need to stop using Spotify and all streaming services other than YouTube, Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2018, 10:57:35 PM »
Why?

Offline Parama

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2018, 11:00:29 PM »
i wasn't aware any of those were streaming services either
It's probably Six Roaming Owls or some other obscure band I've never heard of.
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Offline Anguyen92

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Re: Spotify shows us that today it’s all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2018, 11:12:15 PM »
I mean I understand listening to music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, but honestly, listening to stuff on Youtube is pretty similar to listening to Spotify and it's not like bands are getting more compensation through Youtube than on Spotify (both pretty much bring very low residue in terms of income).

Offline WildRanger

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2018, 04:53:03 AM »
Tool refused to be on Spotify.

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2018, 06:37:05 AM »
It has ALWAYS been about the singles and not the albums for the listeners of a good portion of music. Spotify confirms a trend that has always been there.

The Dark Side of the Moon has no hits, but it's the third best-selling album of all time.
That doesn't answer his point at all. :lol

Honestly it's the opposite. Entire albums regularly show up on the charts almost exclusively because of streaming. If you're only using literally decades-old reference points of course people are only still listening to the popular stuff off those but as far as modern success goes it's pretty much the opposite. One of the songs that was #1 for like two months this year was an album cut that only became a single after the fact, lol
This this this. I remember the most extreme example was one of Ed Sheeran's albums, where 9 of the UK Top 10 "singles" were songs from that album because it was getting streamed so much.

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Offline Anguyen92

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Re: Spotify shows us that today it’s all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2018, 09:17:29 AM »
Tool refused to be on Spotify.

Yeah, and Tool hasn't release an album in 12 years, so it's not like their approaches should be the best standard for bands to follow.

Offline Parama

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2018, 12:23:12 PM »
Okay yeah WildRanger is definitely a teenage music hipster who doesn't understand the world, problem solved
It's probably Six Roaming Owls or some other obscure band I've never heard of.
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2018, 12:32:46 PM »
Is it just me, or are the WildRanger threads coming with greater and greater frequency and demonstrating more and more negativity toward contemporary music?
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2018, 12:36:41 PM »
Is it just me, or are the WildRanger threads coming with greater and greater frequency and demonstrating more and more negativity toward contemporary music?

He's an old curmudgeon.  I'm just old. :lol
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2018, 12:45:04 PM »
Is it just me, or are the WildRanger threads coming with greater and greater frequency and demonstrating more and more negativity toward contemporary music?

I find them demonstrating a need to categorise and orientate, sparking interesting discussion most of the times.

What I notice (and this is completely unrelated to the post I quoted) is an increasing negativity towards these threads, though, and honestly can't see why.

Offline Parama

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2018, 12:48:51 PM »
I mean in this case as I've already said the premise literally isn't true so
It's probably Six Roaming Owls or some other obscure band I've never heard of.
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2018, 12:54:02 PM »
Not agreeing with the guy is fine.

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2018, 03:37:53 PM »
Honestly it's the opposite. Entire albums regularly show up on the charts almost exclusively because of streaming. If you're only using literally decades-old reference points of course people are only still listening to the popular stuff off those but as far as modern success goes it's pretty much the opposite. One of the songs that was #1 for like two months this year was an album cut that only became a single after the fact, lol

This is probably the case. I have an ear to the ground in the popheads community (as y'all know, pop is a genre that has historically relied on singles) and the general consensus is that singles are becoming less and less important because of streaming. Take Taylor Swift for example: her last album, reputation is the second best selling album of last year and it smashed touring revenue and pre-order records. But the singles from the album are generally considered to have flopped because only one (Look What You Made Me Do) hit #1 and only two (LWYMD and ...ready for it?) hit the Top 10. Drake managed to get an entire album on the Hot 100 because it was streamed so much.

The only really "big" singles this year have been This is America by Childish Gambino (mostly because of its video) and maaaayyyybe Girls Like You by Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B. The latter probably won't even be remembered after this year because it's not the monster single that's everywhere for a month and memed to death like Hello, Shake it Off, Thrift Shop, Uptown Funk, or Gangnam Style. Last year and the year before that, we only had a couple really massive singles. Traditional pop artists like Katy Perry have also kinda struggled this year because of this. 4 years ago, Chained to the Rhythm would've been a massive hit. But last year? Ehhh not so much.

The biggest things in music this year have mostly been soundtracks and albums too. Drake's Scorpion, Post Malone's Beerbongs and Bentleys, A Star is Born, The Greatest Showman, the Black Panther soundtrack, etc. I'd say there's definitely a push back towards albums in both the industry and the GP's listening habits and streaming is a big part of why.

Offline Parama

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2018, 03:44:35 PM »
Delicate is gonna end up being the most successful song off Reputation though I don't think it ever even broke the top 10
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2018, 04:18:13 PM »
Ahhhhh, The Greatest Showman.  That's a decent album, but From Now On is such a huge track to me.  Also, there's going to be another release of The Greatest Showman album where the songs going to be redone by a lot of pop acts in today's music (Panic at the Disco, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, etc.).  The best part of that news is that From Now On is going to be redone by Zac Brown Band and if you have heard Zac Brown Band before, you know that they are going to nail From Now On and do this song justice in their own way.

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2018, 04:24:40 PM »
Honestly it's the opposite. Entire albums regularly show up on the charts almost exclusively because of streaming. If you're only using literally decades-old reference points of course people are only still listening to the popular stuff off those but as far as modern success goes it's pretty much the opposite. One of the songs that was #1 for like two months this year was an album cut that only became a single after the fact, lol

This is a really good point.

If we were talking about iTunes, I could see this argument being made, because it provided a very inexpensive avenue for those who mainly care about one individual song. But with Spotify, there's no added cost for the user to listen to the artist's other songs if they want to check them out.
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2018, 04:34:38 PM »
What I notice (and this is completely unrelated to the post I quoted) is an increasing negativity towards these threads, though, and honestly can't see why.

I will agree with Parama:
I mean in this case as I've already said the premise literally isn't true so
Not agreeing with the guy is fine.

For me at least, it isn't about whether one agrees with him.  It is that he sets a premise or multiple premises that simply are not true, which makes the entire discussion pointless.  It's like a thread discussing the merits of releasing fluorocarbons into the atmosphere, but posing the question with the assumption that "fluorocarbons turn the sky an obnoxious shade or orange, and as we all know, orange is the favorite color of terrorists.  So what do you think about releasing fluorocarbons into the atmosphere?  Should the government regulate them?" 

Plenty of people on this forum were clamoring for him to be banned by the time he had posted half of dozen threads.  As I always do, I pointed out that he is not breaking any forum rules and is entitled to post what he likes, provided he does not break rules.  Yet, after many, many efforts to try to get him on track with the WAY he posts, he has ignored those efforts to guide him to the point that he is about an inch away from my patience running out and him being kicked off these boards.  So that should tell you something.
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2018, 04:37:55 PM »
Is it just me, or are the WildRanger threads coming with greater and greater frequency and demonstrating more and more negativity toward contemporary music?

I find them demonstrating a need to categorise and orientate, sparking interesting discussion most of the times.

What I notice (and this is completely unrelated to the post I quoted) is an increasing negativity towards these threads, though, and honestly can't see why.

well he literally made the exact same thread twice within a relatively short period (something about Hemispheres vs. CTTE) so there is precedent for being upset with these shenanigans
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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2018, 07:09:35 PM »
And is anyone else irked by the way WildRanger phrases their thread titles? They're a weird, awful mix of conjecture, question, and statement that don't gel well when put together. Like this thread, for example...

"Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?"

"Spotify shows us" - so we start with a statement, which doesn't sound like the beginning of a question. If it was a question, it should read something like "Does Spotify show us..."

"...that today," - missing a comma

"it's all about the singles and not albums" - the "the" before singles feels superfluous, and greater emphasis on the "NOT" would help clarify the claim. "It's all about singles and NOT albums"

Maybe I am just being picky, but this isn't the first WildRanger thread title that is very hard to decipher based on poor grammar. The "Why a term "Dad rock" exists and what is its true meaning?" thread title REALLY bothered me every time I saw it on page one. Maybe they don't speak/read/write English as their first language, which would be excusable, but it can often make it hard to understand what they are trying to ask/state/say.

Anyways, back on THIS topic, it wouldn't surprise me if the general consensus of singles-over-albums starts to turn, especially now that I think about the growing popularity and resurgence of vinyl LPs in the last 5 or so years. More and more music lovers, of all kinds, are getting into vinyl, and I feel like it takes a certain mindset to get into vinyl - those who enjoy albums over singles. Why go through all the trouble to buy a record player and a vinyl if you're just going to spin one of the dozen songs on it? Perhaps artists are treating their records as singles collections more and more, though, just like the above referenced Ed Sheeran example, giving fans more digestible material in album-length chunks. Most popular artists might not take the kinds of experimental risks that artists did in the past that would fill out the rest of a normal album, but that could just be producer/management/label interference more than anything. I'm not very knowledgeable in the music industry or pop music, so I can't be too sure, but it wouldn't surprise me if that wasn't far from the truth.

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Re: Spotify shows us that today itís all about the singles and not albums ?
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2018, 07:59:24 PM »
Delicate is gonna end up being the most successful song off Reputation though I don't think it ever even broke the top 10

And this is good and right because Delicate is the best song on Reputation.
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