A recent survey carried out by MidiA Research reveals that lyric features on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Deezer have taken centre stage in this streaming age. According to the study, 90% of streaming subscribers seek out the words to a song whilst 55% say that they're more likely to pay for a streaming platform that utilises lyric features.
Spotify responded to this increasing demand for lyrics by introducing synchronised lyric streaming through an integration with Genius, allowing users to access live lyrics as they listen as well as behind the scenes facts and stories about the song.
Are lyrics really that important? From Edwin Starr's War (1970) which openly protested the Vietnam War to Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit (1939) - throughout history, songs have proven to be a powerful platform for inspiring change.
On December 22 1964, Sam Cooke felt compelled to write A Change is Gonna Come as he reflected on his struggle and the struggle of those around him during the civil rights movement. This May Town Hall, Symphony Hall welcome gifted soul, jazz and rap artists, Carleen Anderson, Nikki Yeoh, Speech Debelle and Nubya Garcia who join forces to explore the power of protest songs like this one.
On stage together for the first time, they perform original interpretations of iconic songs such as A Change is Gonna Come, The Revolution will not be Televised and more.
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it willA Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
With this in mind, it's not surprising that song lyrics are as crucial as ever in this increasingly digital age. Users want more than just the music, they're engaging with songs on a different level. Chris Baughen, Vice President of Content and Productions at Deezer suggests that lyrics are an integral part of a user's listening experience:
Lyrics form a key part of a music fan's overall listening experience. Usage of the lyric service has increased by 49% since 2017, highlighting the growing demand and appeal of such a featureChris Baughen, Vice President of Content and Productions
A Change is Gonna Come comes to Town Hall on Tuesday 29 May and as well as protest songs from the past features powerful new compositions by Anderson and Yeoh highlighting the ongoing fight for equal human rights.