It was reported in 2019 that the average length of a song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was three-and-a-half minutes and that songs that run for under three minutes are becoming increasingly common. So, in general, songs are getting shorter, but now meditation app Calm and Universal Music Group (UMG) taking things in the opposite direction, as they have announced a series of remixed songs that will push their lengths up to an hour.
This Friday (March 19, which is World Sleep Day), Calm will release seven extended tracks: Ariana Grande’s “Breathin’,” Jhené Aiko’s “While We’re Young,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” Katy Perry’s “Double Rainbow,” Luis Fonsi’s “Sola,” Post Malone’s “Circles,” and Shawn Mendes’ “Wonder.” For three months, the hour-long tracks will be exclusive to the app, but after that, UMG will be allowed to share the songs to streaming platforms.
Calm co-founder and co-CEO Michael Acton Smith told Rolling Stone, “The problem with most music is it’s quite short: When built for the streaming era or even the radio era, it’s three or four minutes long. Even if something is really soothing, you can’t always get into a flow state and drift off to sleep. You have a song for a few minutes and then you go onto the next one and the next one.” He added of the new remixes, “If they’re boring, you’re [less likely] to play them in the first place, and we want your attention. We want you stop thinking about your to-do lists and that silly comment you made at work.”
Courtney Phillips, Calm’s Head of Music also noted, “I was just on a call with an artist’s team talking about tracks. I asked, ‘Would it be cool if he made longer versions?’ And they were like, “Oh my god, he’s been killing us! We keep trying to get him to shorten these down because they’re so long. He would love to make a longer version.’ That’s what we want to be here for. We want to give artists that creative freedom, let them think out of the box and go, ‘Yes! I get to make something really weird, long, and beautiful.” She added, “We didn’t have any comments at all from any of our artists not liking the final mixes. Not one.”