Music Business

OOPS! 100,000 tracks a day are NOT uploaded to Spotify, Apple & Amazon Music

Late last year, the heads of UMG and Sony Music told the world that 100,000 tracks a day were being uploaded to music streaming services and that this glut of music was crowding out the good stuff (aka their releases) and diluting the royalty pool.

For good measure, the data analysts at top music streaming and sales data aggregator Luminate called the 100,000 track estimates “spot on.”

It turns out that, while still a big number, a little less than half that many tracks – 49,000 – were uploaded to Spotify on an average day last year.

That revelation comes from Billboard’s Glenn Peoples, who looked at all the data and found a few more surprises.

The 100,000 stat seems to have come from a few places.

Pandemic Bounce

First, the number of tracks added to streaming services went way up during the pandemic when professional musicians had more time to write and record, and the average Joe and Judy had nothing better to do than crank out tunes on their laptops.

CD Baby, TuneCore, DistroKid, and the like must have been very, very happy.

More than 100,000 a day

The one music streaming service that still exceeds the 100,000 tracks per day mark is SoundCloud.

From Feb. 2022 through Jan. 2023, SoundCloud added an average of 123,000 per day, according to stats that Peoples found in the company’s press releases. The number was even higher in April 2022 when 137,000 tacks were uploaded to Soundcloud daily.

Does it matter that the number of daily uploads is half what everyone said it was?

Yes and no.

Yes, it’s good for music discovery on Spotify, Apple, and Amazon Music that competition is half the 100,000 that we thought it was. And no, 49,000 is not small enough a number to really matter for most artists.

Whatever the number, it’s important that we know what the real one is as the Major Labels and others push for changes that run the real risk of benefiting their artists at the expense of d.i.y. and independent creators.

NOTE: In addition to his work as a writer and analyst, Peoples co-hosts the very-much-worth-listening-to Behind The Setlist podcast for Billboard alongside Jay Gilbert os Your Morning Coffee and the Music Biz Weekly Podcast fame.

MORE: Everyone Loses: the problem with fixing music streaming [Mark Mulliligan]

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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