Be Honest: How Long Do You Listen to a Song Before You Hit “Skip?”

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Back in the days before the CD, the only way to skip a song on an album was to get up, walk across the room and move the needle to the next track on the record. If you were listening to a cassette or 8-tracks, you had to fast-forward until you found the song you wanted.

But when CD players appeared, they came with a button that instantly skipped to the next track. No more fast-forwarding, no more enduring a song you didn’t want to hear. And thus shrunk our attention spans and our tolerance for things we didn’t like immediately.

So how long will we let a song go before we give it a thumbs down?  Writing in Music 3.0, Bobby Owsinski tells us:

24.14% skip within the first 5 seconds
28.97% skip within the first 10 seconds
35.05% skip within the first 30 seconds
48.6% skip before the song finishes!

And there’s more.  Continue reading.

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1 Comment

  • I agree that the ability to quickly skip a song means you are not exposed to new songs long enough and often enough to appreciate them. But, in the “old” days when you were forced to listen to an album in its entirety (or 20-minutes per LP side) I became so used to the flow of the album that I would be anticipating and hearing the next song in my head as the current track was ending. Now with shuffling mode the next song is unknown till it starts so it gives me more of a chance to hear it fresh. Of course that kills the linearity of the album design/flow.