Is it just me or are songs getting shorter?

I have zero evidence to back up my subject line question beyond a gut feeling, but I recently grabbed three songs off two upcoming albums and the longest song is 3:09. The other two clock in at 3:08 and three minutes even. (What got me thinking of this was a new playlist I created on my iPod that had just five songs in it, and ran a few ticks over 15 minutes.)

I could have sworn that the average pop song used to be three-and-a-half to four minutes long, and maybe more if you let the guitar player or keyboard dude really ramp up the solo before the final chorus.

So what's the deal?

WikiAnswers says the average song length is 3:20. I have no idea what that's based on, but even that sounds short.

Then there's this guy who says, "Over the last forty years, the average length of pop songs (or country songs, or most rock songs etc.) has grown from a tight two minutes to an ungainly four."

I don't remember a lot of two minute pop or rock songs during the last 40 years (and I'm 40, and don't listen to country), but I never thought a four-minute pop song was "ungainly."

I pose the question again, then - are pop songs today getting shorter?


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