Three-minute songs are the formula for success for a K-pop group

IVE, (G)I-DLE, LE SSERAFIM, and other groups are sweeping across charts with three-minute-long songs.

The exponential growth of short-video platforms such as TikTok and YouTube shorts are bringing about new changes in the K-pop industry. K-pop idols are opting for short videos for promotions and interactive activities with fans. At the same time, dance challenge is becoming the dominant form of communication with fans in every new comeback.

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To catch up with the current shift, idol groups are focusing on reducing the length of their songs and producing a more compact music release. In the past, a song could reach up to 6 minutes to tell a whole story from start to end. However, nowadays, songs rarely last more than 3 minutes. This “3-minute” formula is applied across a range of songs, such as aespa’s “Spicy” (3 minutes 17 seconds), IVE’s “I AM” (3 minutes 3 seconds), (G)I-DLE’s “Queencard” (2 minutes 41 seconds), and LE SSERAFIM’s “Unforgiven (feat. Nile Rodgers)” (3 minutes 2 seconds), to name a few.

According to Star News, this length is more “TikTok-friendly”. When a song is shorter and its tempo is faster, that song becomes an earworm. According to industry insiders, almost all of the songs these days omit intros and grab attention with choruses or hook parts of a song.

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Optimizing stage performances is another reason leading to a shortened track. One professional opinion stated that a shorter duration allowed idols to perform powerful, energy-consuming choreography with experiencing physical tolls. 

Nonetheless, this does not affect the completeness of a music release and only reflects a producer’s sensitivity to public taste, according to experts. 

Source: Starnews, Billboardvn  

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