Hit songs used to be about the quality of the melody and how well it infected other listeners. Those skills would land artists huge distribution deals to spread their music to the masses...but now in days...that model has been thrown out the window.
So, what makes a hit song then...?
Does it just have to hit on Tik Tok?
Can it get played by Lebron James?
What is the secret formula for a hit song?
I will tell you, it's much more than the actual music.
If quality product made hits, we wouldn't even know about McDonald's hamburgers and we'd only seek the finest of angus beef.
So, if quality doesn't correlate to record success...it much be more to the equation.
1. Saturation of a Moment
Years ago, When I rode the bus to my high school in the morning they played T-Pain and Jordin Sparks NON-STOP. It was like the DJ forgot to switch the cds in the console.
Whenever artists got on the MTV TRL stage, they made a statement and a mark on the culture...similar to MTV cribs.
Hits were born from saturation of a moment. It's just now, the moment is spread across a TON of new digital mediums.
There's no ONE place to go to in order to promote your music. Therefore, capturing splintered attention is the name of the game.
Dominating Tik Tok charts seems to be the new MTV TRL and the new "being played on the radio nonstop."
But, do the fans really control the charts? Wouldn't it be in the Music labels' (The people who have their foot on the neck of these apps) interest to plant their artists as if it's organic?
Artificially placing artists at the top of the Tik Tok charts which encourages all the users to make free content.
Tik Tok has become the music industries new content slave plantation. And what's worse is that the users really think they control the charts.
2. Major Distribution
We can fantasize until our eyes turn blue about how an unknown artist can magically go from their bedroom into stardom without the assets of the Major labels.
Let's face it, the major labels have relationships and control of real estate, live venues, radio stations, and other digital medium to spread their messages.
I mean...Sony owns Playstation. Let that sink in.
In order to reach millions around the world, you have to have a machine that feeds you to the millions of people almost instantly.
That's the one thing which cannot be replicated that the Major labels control...distribution.
3. The Right Gatekeeper approval
No one seems to acknowledge the power of the traditional music industry's gatekeepers. With a corrupt system built to extract wealth from the working bottom class, the traditional music industry is constructed to control the rise of any act.
If they don't approve of you, there will be a glass ceiling. IF, you take their distribution routes.
Will organic hit songs ever exist based on quality alone? Probably never...especially with the rise of AI technology.