Are We Seeing 100,000 Music Tracks a Day Added to Digital Streaming Providers?
Universal Music Group and Sony Music executives have recently claimed that around ‘100,000 tracks a day’ are being uploaded to digital streaming providers (DSPs) like Spotify. But is this really the case? Glenn Peoples from Billboard recently took a deep dive into the numbers to see if these claims match up to what the DSPs are self-reporting.
Back in 2019, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said “nearly 40,000” new tracks were added to the service. By 2021, this number had increased to “over 60,000” but has since fallen back to around 33,000 due to the pandemic-related glut of podcasts and new music.
Comparing these numbers to tracks with International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs), Peoples concluded that “Spotify’s self-reported number of tracks better matches up with the number of ISRCs if you take into account multiple variants of tracks such as remixes and clean versions.”
So while 100,000 tracks a day on DSPs may be an exaggeration, the total new tracks added each day across the various platforms could easily surpass this figure. SoundCloud adds new tracks at a faster rate because it also accepts direct uploads from independent musicians. Billboard reports that SoundCloud added 50 million new tracks in 12 months back in April 2022–about 137,000 a day.
SoundCloud’s low barrier for entry has helped many young musicians find an audience–and get signed. So while the 100,000 tracks a day figure touted by industry heads is technically true of an aggregate, the reality is closer to 50,000 tracks a day are actually making it onto the platform in 2023.
“The complexity of being able to separate one’s music from the other 99,999 tracks uploaded that day is incredibly complex and incredibly difficult,” noted Warner Music Group Steve Cooper. “Most creators don’t have the capital, the skill levels, [or] the expertise to [promote] and be successful.”
For up-and-coming musicians, the challenge of standing out among the daily influx of new music is daunting, no matter how many tracks are hitting DSPs each day. It takes a combination of luck, talent, and hard work to move from the 80% of chaff that gets released daily into the 20% of songs that become frequently played hits.