The MBW Review is where we aim our microscope towards some of the music biz’s biggest recent goings-on. This time, we juggle some very interesting numbers revealed by Spotify at its ‘Stream On’ event earlier this week. The MBW Review is supported by Instrumental.
The mind-boggling amount of music being uploaded to Spotify continues to get even more mind-boggling.
As part of Spotify’s ‘Stream On’ event on Monday (February 22), the company confirmed that more than 60,000 new tracks are now being ingested by its platform every single day.
The figure, announced by Spotify’s co-Head of Music, Jeremy Erlich, means that across the course of this year, approximately 22 million tracks will be added to Spotify’s catalog.
Meanwhile, at 60,000 tracks per day, Spotify is seeing a new track uploaded to its platform every 1.4 seconds.
There are a few other interesting ways to slice this information in context of today’s music business.
Spotify confirmed in November last year that its platform now played host to around 70 million tracks.
Therefore it’s reasonable to assume that, by the end of 2021, SPOT will be home to over 90 million tracks. And that in the early part of next year, it will surpass a catalog of 100 million for the first time.
And you can expect that 60,000-plus daily number to grow even higher in future.
Spotify certainly seems to be forecasting that its daily upload number will continue going haywire in the years ahead.
During his opening monologue at the ‘Stream On’ event, Daniel Ek noted that three years ago, in 2018, Spotify had 3 million creators on its platform.
In 2019, he said, this number climbed to 5 million. And in 2020, it exploded: according to Ek, by the end of last year there were 8 million creators with recordings on Spotify.
“I believe that by 2025, we could have as many as 50 million creators on our platform, whose art is enjoyed by a billion users around the world.”
Daniel Ek, Spotify
“Creators” here is a euphemism for music artists plus podcasters. But considering Spotify had 2.2 million podcasts on its service at the end of 2020 – and those podcasts will obviously be made by a smaller number of podcasters – it seems inevitable that Spotify has at least 7 million recording artists on its platform today.
Said Ek on Monday: “I believe that by 2025, we could have as many as 50 million creators on our platform, whose art is enjoyed by a billion users around the world. And that’s not a prediction or a goal: it’s really both a challenge, and a great opportunity.”
If the amount of music being uploaded to Spotify grows at the same rate as the number of creators on Spotify – and Daniel Ek is right in his forecast – then by 2025, some 375,000 new tracks will be being flung up on Spotify every day.
That’s approximately 137 million new tracks every year.
Fyi: There are around 38 million minutes in the average human life – including sleep – according to United Nations estimates.
Now we come to a crucial question: How many of the 8 million creators on Spotify today are actually making any proper money from the service?
This question was answered by Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s Chief Content Officer and Advertising Business Officer, at the ‘Stream On’ event.
Furthering the idea that the pool of artists earning good money from Spotify keeps widening, Ostroff revealed that 90% of streams on Spotify today are shared between 57,000 artists – a number “that has quadrupled in just six years”.
Considering that Daniel Ek confirmed on Monday that Spotify paid out over $5 billion to music rights-holders in 2020, this seems to be very good news for the average artist.
However, further numbers from Ostroff were less reassuring for your par-level musician.
“Over the last four years, the number of recording artists whose catalogs generated more than $1 million a year [was] more than 800… [The] number generating more than $100,000 a year? [over] 7,500 artists.”
Dawn Ostroff, Spotify
“Over the last four years, the number of recording artists whose catalogs generated more than $1 million a year [from Spotify] across recording and publishing is up over 82% to more than 800 artists,” confirmed Ostroff, adding: “[The] number generating more than $100,000 a year? That’s up 79% to more than 7,500 artists.”
To rephrase the vital bit there: Around 7,500 artists have generated over $100,000 per annum from Spotify at some stage within the last four years.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to point out that 7,500 is both a significant number of artists… and a long way off 8 million.
In fact, these numbers mean an individual artist’s chance of generating over $100,000 on Spotify this year (i.e. as one of the 7,500 people within those 8 million creators) is… 0.094%.
Breaking into the hallowed “1%” is a struggle that artists have long accepted as part and parcel of becoming a star.
But breaking into the 10% of the 1%?
In a world of 60,000 daily track uploads, those are the crazily steep odds facing any artist with dreams of making bank on Spotify in 2021.
The MBW Review is supported by Instrumental, which powers online scouting for A&R and talent teams within the music industry. Their leading scouting platform applies AI processes to Spotify and social data to unearth the fastest growing artists and tracks each day. Get in touch with the Instrumental team to find out how they can help power your scouting efforts.Music Business Worldwide