JohnStacy

What is the ideal length of a musical album to you?

12 posts in this topic

Let's say there's an album to be released that you're excited for. 

You're excited to pay $9.99 or right around there for this album, or even a pay what you want setup. 

Barring absurd things like three 5 second tracks or a 9 hour mega production, what do you think a good amount of content is for this format?

Share your opinion in this thread and go.

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I think it's still about 70 minutes per "musical" album (as though there'd be confusion as to what kind of album it would be) as the maximum and seemingly the choice for many who can really output at a prodigious productivity. My opinion is that putting down $9.99 for music should net me at least 2 virtual albums of music, or one physical disc I really want (like from a retail game OST).

If you're someone who needs to ask how long they should do an album to attract people to pay $9.99, then I don't recommend you do a 70+ minute album or price it anywhere close to $9.99. It loses accessibility needed to build you up to the kind of artist who can better justify those parameters. Instead, I recommend breaking up such a hypothetical project into smaller releases, maybe 30-45 minutes, and charging $3-$5 for them a piece. I think that would make your starting releases much more accessible to people scouting around for new things they might like.

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I myself take model of pricing from platforms like itunes and Spotify in per track style

Maybe it is just me, but I have found a working model, I would first have songs like... 16 (or any number).

Then I would put 0.99 price per track if they go over 2 minutes. 1.99$ if they go ober 7 minute  and then calculate how much that would be times 16 (let's assume all my tracks are over 2 minutes and less than 7 minutes)

16 x 0.99 = 15.84

Then I would move the number down at least 2-4 dollars to entice people to buy as a pack rather than individually. Something like 12.99$

This is what I have found to work in previous cases. It is not a direct answer for your question as I would approach $9.99 from that previous calculation I showed you before.

 

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As long as the tracks are all great, the length is not that important to me, but if I had to put a number on it, I'd say 40 minutes or longer. A lot of old death metal albums are only 30 minutes though, and the length never actually bothered me.

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For me, it's 40-50 minutes. I've got plenty of CDs that fall in the 30-35 minute range that I enjoy, but 40-50 minutes feels like the right amount of time for an album when played from start to finish. It's also the time range that some of my favorite albums fall into, so maybe that's why.

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Am I the only one who thinks of this question primarily in terms of # of songs and not duration?

I'm happier with a 12-song, 40-minute album where each song is unique than I am with an 8-song, 60-minute album, generally speaking... more about the number of ideas than their length

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You're not the only one! I generally like an 8-10 song album, if it's going to be one I enjoy in the long run (and probably play in the car, if it's not super elaborate dynamics), but I don't mind getting a 5-8 song album if I just find it astounding. Usually I like it if the album happens to be 30 minutes long (5-8 songs) or 40 minutes long (8-10 songs), but I'm open.

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8-15 songs. No time length priority. The only important thing for album is to be "album". Main idea or theme through all the tracks and overall sounding should stay in one mood.

Hope someone can understand, what I'm trying to say with my english.

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All formats are interesting.

dookie, my first album, is 39:41 and has 14 tracks. I’ll pick that as perfect. Completely arbitrary

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I thank you for your responses.  For a little context:

I am planning to release an album, and for the most part I have most of the writing done.  As of now it sits at just under an hour, with 9 tracks.  Really it's just under an hour with 6 tracks, but one of them is 24 minutes long and will most likely be split into 4 smaller tracks, although I am not sure about that.  That particular track is a long form, soundtrack style piece.  Depending on what the answers to my question I would add or subtract tracks.  There is a pool of things that could go as high as 120 minutes, or I could always cut content.  I think the final duration is at 55 minutes, but there is one track that made the final cut that I may get rid of because of indifference to that one track.

I wanted to ask this question around several communities mainly to see what the perception of value in an album was.  I am in no way insecure about what I do, but it never hurts to gauge public opinions before release of a project.

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