Spotify is changing the way that songs are being titled, says science

"Our shorter attention spans mean more song titles with 1 or 2 words in them"

Song titles have changed in the post-Spotify era, according to new research.

Michael Tauberg, who describes himself as an “engineer interested in words and how they shape society”, recently looked at how Spotify has changed the music industry in a widely-read Medium post.

“Now that Spotify is a multibillion dollar juggernaut on track to IPO, I thought it would be interesting to see what effects the company (and streaming in general) has had on the broader music business,” Tauberg writes.


Tauberg looked at Billboard Hot-100 chart data in the US from the pre and post Spotify eras, meaning from between 2000 – 2008 and between 2009 – 2017.

What Tauberg found was that “dominant songs get even more dominant” in terms of popularity after Spotify gains traction and that country music has seen a decline as a result too.

Tauberg also finds that the number of unique words in song titles rose in the post-Spotify era, with 19% more unique words after 2009.

However, the number of words in a song title is lower on average. “Our shorter attention spans mean more song titles with 1 or 2 words in them,” Tauberg writes.

Interestingly though, Tauberg found that there are also more songs with markedly long titles (7 words or more). “The middle is what shrinks as a percentage,” he notes.

Read the full post here.


Spotify recently revealed that at least 2 million users are accessing their their ad-free service without paying.