"The Chinese music scene seems to be really over." "The Age of Soul Wearing Ringtones" "I haven't seen a song by the title, but I have heard it all"…
Even if you are not a 5G surfer or a music lover, you may have heard of the TEMA Tencent Music Entertainment Festival a few days ago.
The reason for being out of the circle is not how heavy the awards are or how star-studded the guests are, but the list of "Top Ten Hot Songs of the Year" that is surprisingly unsatisfactory.
Take a closer look, no song title or singer is familiar. But as long as the music plays, your mind will feel like being held hostage, and you can't help humming the second half after listening to the first half-because, all, it is, Douyin Divine Comedy!
▲ The front may be full of critical strikes, but please keep watching!
Don't laugh: Douyin Divine Comedy dominates the charts, essentially "the people's choice"
How come the top ten hot songs of the year have been "slaughtered" by the Douyin Divine Comedy?
In the shock and sorrow of social networks, the winners of "Clouds and the Sea", "White Moonlight and Cinnabar Moles", "The Prodigal Son" and "The Dream That Can't Awaken" began to be ridiculed by the crowd: soil-flavored saliva songs, old melody The set is ugly, even plagiarizing the tailor… The Chinese music scene is really over!
Ironically, there was a skewer performance for the top ten hot songs, and each song appeared for 15 seconds. Without sound cards and sound repairs, the singers of the Douyin Divine Comedy opened their mouths. Netizens with poisonous tongues described this as "public execution" and even "not even a campus singer." "Let me go, I would rather listen to traffic stars sing!"
▲ Top ten hot songs live skewers, Double Kill!
The public account "Dr. X" said in a tweet "Congratulations to the Chinese music circle for returning to the era of ringtones" , and pointed out that the biggest contradiction of this hot song list is that the songs are shoddy but very popular.
What are the characteristics of CRBT music? Constrained by the length of time, I can only fire a few choruses. The melody must try to catch the ears and brainwash the ears, and the lyrics must be simple and brainless…
People would not have thought that one day CRBT could dominate a certain list on the Chinese music awards stage 100%.
▲ Mobile phone ring tones, tears of the times
After listening to the 10 skewers, do you also think of the "Mouse Loves Rice" and "Two Butterflies" who once swiped the screen? Have you ever wondered why this is?
The top ten hot songs of the year are arguably the most popular music on the Internet. But how did these little-known songs appear in front of people and get played, shared, liked, or collected? Who is recommending? Who is spreading?
Yes, it is the short video algorithm.
In the past, when a song became popular, it started with the recommendation of a radio DJ or music chart, followed by a surge in album (CD or tape) sales, and finally it was played on the streets and alleys. The emergence of short videos completely disrupted this set of operations: 15 seconds, the virus spread from the short video platform first, followed by multi-line development, and at the same time conquered social networks, dominated the major music platforms, and went offline.
In other words, if you occupy the ears of short video platform users, you own most of the Internet.
"The New York Times" recently reported that a ByteDance engineer wrote a document exposing some insider information about the TikTok algorithm. A simple video scoring formula is listed in the file:
P Like*V Like+P Comment*V Comment+E Play Time*V Play Time+P Play*V Play
The engineer said that the formula will make predictions based on machine learning and your actual user behavior, score all videos, and then push the video with the highest score to you (the actual formula used is more complicated, but the logic behind it is the same).
In the context of the Douyin Divine Comedy, every time you like, comment, or repeatedly play a certain song, the algorithm is all in your eyes. It is the more than 600 million Douyin users with daily activities who are using behavioral voting to turn Internet celebrity saliva songs into "the people's choice."
Compared with the previous top-down music transmission path, this result will inevitably be more sinking, more straightforward, and more drooling. To put it bluntly, the top ten songs of the year are just the result of big data support.
In terms of melody and lyrics quality, today's "Clouds and Sea", "White Moonlight and Cinnabar Mole" are almost the same as those of "Mice Love Rice" and "Two Butterflies". The biggest change may be that we still had the patience to listen for three to five minutes, but now we can only hum a 15-second chorus.
Listening to songs for 15 seconds, writing songs for hits, short videos ruined the music industry?
It is said that the Chinese music world is going to be over. Can you blame the short videos and algorithms?
On the one hand, short videos and algorithms are quite innocent. They just found the greatest common divisor of user preferences, accidentally exposed the fact that most people listen to saliva songs, and digs out and amplifies this popular taste.
But on the other hand, neither short videos nor algorithms can justify themselves. They not only make you addicted, "spoil you" with dopamine content, but also make your fast food culture consumption habits become more and more fragmented through the brushing mechanism.
▲ Picture from Giphy
As a listener, do you remember the last time you were curious about music and when you explored new songs everywhere? Do you still remember the feeling of going to a video store to buy an exquisite CD, listening to it from beginning to end, and then aftertaste?
This kind of trial and error experience, and the experience of scouring the sand for gold in big waves, is probably rare now.
It stands to reason that in this era of information explosion within reach, people have become more free to choose music. You can listen to hip hop reggae, jazz classical, psychedelic electronic music, from ancient times to the present, from far to near, every circle can find its own soul.
But when you are too lazy to choose, give the right of choice to the algorithm-friends, you can also have an information cocoon for listening to songs, and the algorithm will overwhelm you with the content it thinks you like.
▲ Picture from Unsplash
The single-cell thinking of "use 15 seconds to judge whether a song is good or not" not only eats up the audience, but also affects creators in the music industry.
In November this year, the well-known British singer Adele released his new album "30". In an interview with Apple Music , she mentioned that during the album production process, the team had many discussions with her on the topic of "TikTok".
Do you want to cater to the trend of short videos and make changes? Adele's team believes that it is necessary to let the teenagers who play TikTok know who she is. However, Adele said that his music is not for 12-year-olds. It is too profound, and it is more suitable for listeners in their 30s and 40s who have a certain experience and seek healing and strength.
If everyone makes songs for TikTok, who will make music for our generation? Who will make music for my peers?
▲ See watermark for picture source
For the global music industry, short video platforms have indeed become an inevitable topic.
It allows the unnamed people to create popular models on the whole network, become No. 1 on Spotify, Apple Music and other charts, and even have a chance to be on the Grammy stage; it can make old songs that are considered dusty and obsolete come back to life, and let niche music Finding your own audience also provides a channel for big-name singers to get closer to their fans.
▲ The rapper Lil Nas X, who became popular from TikTok and later signed with a record company and won various Grammy MTV awards, is only 22 years old this year.
The recently released "2021 TikTok Annual Music Report" shows that on TikTok, there are about 430 songs with more than 1 billion video views this year, and the most popular one is played nearly 20 billion times.
These traffic and favorites from TikTok users also play a role outside the platform-data shows that in 2021, more than 175 TikTok hits will be on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart, which is twice the number of last year.
▲ TikTok 2021 Global Top Ten Hot Songs
It has long been no secret to hype and create music for short video platforms.
According to Business Insider reports , TikTok has an internal music department that will maintain close cooperation with major record companies and monitor music trends on the APP every day. Related teams have a series of measures to increase the popularity of a song-such as adding the song to the playlist, or setting keywords to increase the likelihood of the song being searched.
Industry participants such as record companies have even devoted their attention to researching the traffic passwords of short video platforms.
To promote a new song, first find 20 bloggers to post content . Let the singer cooperate with the release of some new song fragments in advance to arouse the interest of users. Pay close attention to the hot search topics and user behavior trends on TikTok or Douyin, and let the singers of the affiliates join in the interaction at any time, and so on.
In order to cause the virus to spread on the short video platform, some music companies set "popular styles" as their target during the production stage. Add in the mixes that young people like, use more straightforward lyrics, and adapt them into fast-paced dance music to facilitate the second creation… The birth of a "Tik Ton Divine Comedy", it even only takes 2 hours to get up quickly.
▲ A collection of some vibrato divine songs on YouTube
For musicians, short video platforms are opportunities, but also cruel and helpless.
In August of this year, Tencent Video’s music variety show "Tomorrow's Creation Project" was launched. In the preliminary stage, a competition system of "30 seconds to determine a song is good or bad" was adopted. Several program instructors had a brief discussion on this competition system.
Singer Deng Ziqi believes that in the fast-paced era of interconnection, this is indeed a problem that singers have to ponder. "But good works should be good enough in every place. Since the environment cannot be changed, we should adapt with high quality."
The five people said that when they were wholesale records, they also tried to judge whether a song should be purchased based on 30 seconds. Of course, there is still a chance of overturning. "Today, everyone is used to the sensory stimulation of short videos. Music beyond seconds…the time left for art appreciation in life is constantly compressed. If possible, let us leave more time for music."
▲ "Tomorrow's Creation Project"
This is a problem that both creators and listeners need to face.
Instead of complaining that the short video platform has ruined the Chinese music scene and feeling that youth is gone, urging a milk tea lover named Zhou to release a new album every day, it is better to think about what we can do to change the status quo.
Can musicians break out of the short-sighted thinking of "explosive styles", at least no longer be framed by the 15-second chorus, and output a complete and original musical narrative? Can the audience actively listen to some music other than those recommended by the algorithm, send less traffic to the Douyin Divine Comedy, and use thinking and behavior to resist the dominance of the algorithm?
Music blogger @ stay Wakagi a view point, it is suitable for the end of the discussion today:
In this era, every click we make is to vote for the world we want.
Share and talk about the things you like as much as possible. Instead of looking at the dark side to create a chain of contempt, it is better to see if we have left out the highlights that should be paid attention to. If you are silent, the space to speak is naturally someone else's.
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