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Loudness Wars

The practice of trying to make each new commercial music release sound subjectively louder than any previous release, on the misguided notion that louder is more exciting and results in more sales. A relationship between the average loudness of 45rpm singles and sales was noticed in America from jukebox plays, and that led to the first loudness war. However, the advent of the CD really ramped up the situation, with music becoming ever-more dynamically compressed to squeeze the average level higher and higher towards the 0dBFS peak level. This desctructive trend is, thankfully, now being slowly reversed with the ubiquity of loudness normalisation adopted by most online audio streaming services and broadcasters.