The latest data point from Spotify’s founder reveals a hard truth about competition in the streaming age.
Spotify Founder and CEO Daniel Ek spoke with investors this week during a quarterly earnings call to discuss the latest developments at the streaming giant. Amongst the many tidbits of information shared, including the companies’ recent success crossing the 100-million paid user count, was the fact that nearly 40,000 new songs are added to the service each day. To be specific, Ek said:
“with more than 50 million tracks now available on Spotify, and growing by close to 40,000 daily, the discover[y] tools we’re building have never been more important to consumers and artists alike.”Daniel Ek, speaking to investors on April 29, 2019
Let’s put that figure into perspective. Forty thousand tracks per day equal about 280,000 songs a week or around 1.2 million tracks per calendar month. In a year, this volume would add up to a whopping 14.6 million.
Therefore, at its current rate, every three-and-a-half years, Spotify will add over 50 million tracks to its library. Considering the platform currently boasts a catalog of roughly 50 million songs total, the current growth rate would double Spotify’s music library by 2022, and it could happen sooner than that.
To look at it another way, let’s accept that the average song is about three minutes long, or 180-seconds. With 40,000 songs added every day, Spotify is creating roughly 2,000 hours worth of new competition for clicks each morning.
If you listened to every song added to Spotify in a single day without taking breaks it would take you a little more than 83 days to hear everything. That’s almost three months of music being added to one streaming service each day.
Daniel Ek also added that the “number of creators that are engaging directly with Spotify’s platform continues to increase, growing to over 3.9 million” in the first three months of 2019. That figure refers to musicians and podcasters, both of whom are contributing to the overwhelming amount of content being added to the platform each day.
Artists reading this now may find themselves in a panic. After all, how can anyone adding music to the platform with a promotional juggernaut behind them hope to stand out in a sea of music far too large to ever be consumed in full? For them, Ek offers this data point:
“In Q1, we saw a 20% increase in the number of artists streamed on our platform year-over-year and a 29% increase in the number of artists with at least 100,000 listeners.Daniel Ek, speaking to investors on April 29, 2019
The best chance most artists have of being discovered on Spotify is through appearances on popular playlists. We ran the advice of one playlisting professional on our blog last week, and we plan to share more in the weeks to come.
If Spotify’s catalog is growing at this unprecedented rate, it’s highly likely that the same can be said for Apple Music and Amazon Music, as well as their smaller competitors. Streaming may be helping the music business recover from its low point, but it’s certainly not helping developing artists make careers out of their work in the same way physical media sales once did. At least, not yet.