Increasing similarity of Billboard songs

May 25, 2018

Popular songs on the Billboard charts always tended to sound similar, but these days they’re sounding even more similar. Andrew Thompson and Matt Daniels for The Pudding make the case:

From 2010-2014, the top ten producers (by number of hits) wrote about 40% of songs that achieved #1 – #5 ranking on the Billboard Hot 100. In the late-80s, the top ten producers were credited with half as many hits, about 19%.

In other words, more songs have been produced by fewer and fewer topline songwriters, who oversee the combinations of all the separately created sounds. Take a less personal production process and execute that process by a shrinking number of people and everything starts to sound more or less the same.

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