Are 100,000 music tracks a day uploaded to digital streaming providers (DSPs) like Spotify? Maybe.
Both Universal Music Group and Sony Music execs have recently claimed that around ‘100,000 tracks a day’ were being uploaded to DSPs. But Billboard’s Glenn Peoples recently examined the claims by these executives and whether or not they match up to what these DSPs are self-reporting. Turns out ‘100,000’ is a big, juicy number that grabs headlines, but isn’t quite the reality on the ground.
Back in 2019, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said “nearly 40,000” new tracks were added to the service. In 2021, that increased to “over 60,000” at the beginning of the year, but fell to around 33,000 as the pandemic glut of podcasts and new music fell off.
Peoples compared these numbers to new tracks with International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs). “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,” Peoples reports.
So while 100,000 tracks a day on DSPs is a little inflated, looking at new tracks in aggregate–they may easily surpass that number. 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 the 100,000 tracks a day figure touted by industry heads is technically true of an aggregate—but it seems like about 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,” complained 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, how do you move your music out of the 80% of chaff that gets released daily into the 20% of songs that become frequently played hits? There’s no simple answer to that question, no matter how many tracks are hitting DSPs each day.