Why Do So Many Chart Topping Hits Now Have One-Word Titles


Many Chart Topping Hits Have One-Word Titles

If you start glancing over the Billboard’s Hot 100 list of music, you’ll notice an inordinate number of chart topping hits now have one-word titles – like Katie Perry’s “Roar,” Lorde’s “Team” and “Royals,” and Imagine Dragons’ “Demons.”

The number of charting songs with one-word titles continues to grow. Just in this year, two one-word titles have set the record for the Hot 100’s top two longest stays: Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” and AWOLNATION’s “Sail.”

About a third of the Billboard hits are made up of single-monikered tracks, and with Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” featured on his second album G I R L, we may start also seeing a growing trend of one-word album titles.

But what has sparked the sudden trend of one-word titles? According to Billboard, social media is influencing artists and writers, impacting the craft of songwriting and naming.

“Today people are overloaded and constantly being sold on things,” says The Chainsmokers’ Alex Paul, speaking to the simplicity of song titles, including his own “#Selfie.” The artist goes on to explain, “We wanted a very direct message about what the song is. The word is so identifiable, so we knew less was more.”

The one-word titles are an important promotional tool as seen in the case of “#Selfie.” The band solicited fans to make their own selfie-driven videos and to circulate them using related hashtag – in turn increasing the track’s viewership and popularity.

Warning #Selfie may contain language deemed appropriate for some listeners/viewers:

Ultimately, one-word titles – keeping the single simple, clear, and catchy – makes them easier to remember and to brand.

Social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, have been shown to influence e-commerce sales of digital music. A previously reported study, put together by Next Big Sound, examined the effects of social networks on digital music sales and managed to isolate four key metrics which had a strong correlation with single digital track sales: the number of radio spins, YouTube plays, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers.

[Photo Credit: Fey Ilyas]


Megan Charles

Megan Charles is a general news and health-focus writer with a background in medicine and biotechnology. Currently she is contributing to Social News Daily and Whole Woman Health. Former credits include Indyposted, The Daily Globe, and The Inquisitr.

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