TEvery day around 100,000 new songs appear on Spotify and Co. This number has been circulating in the music industry for around three months. It does not come from the Swedish market leader or from any other streaming service. It was created by two of the industry’s leading figures: the outgoing boss of Universal Music , Lucian Grainge, and his outgoing counterpart at Warner Music , Steve Cooper – of course coupled with the subtle hint that it takes strong partners like their labels, to stand out from this crowd.
Spotify had given the value 60,000 in February 2021. Among them are pieces by amateur musicians, notorious “white noise” tracks with minutes of hissing, cover songs, remixes or the new release of a global superstar. Spotify is currently advertising with “over 82 million songs”, Apple and Amazon Music with more than 100 million, and there is even more on YouTube anyway. Many songs from this ever-growing mass are hardly ever streamed and consequently generate negligible income for their performers and songwriters. But the fact that they are available to millions and millions of music fans around the world, and that they are fast and cheap, is often cited as one of the great achievements of the streaming economy.
“The algorithms reward regular publications”
The numerous digital distributors such as Distrokid, Recordjet, United Masters, CDBaby or Tunecore stand for this promise. The offer differs slightly depending on the service, but their core promise is simple: upload music for a small one-time payment and collect all or at least most of the royalties. So more and more songs on the platforms is exactly what the services want. This is underscored by the move by Tunecore, one of the major providers and part of the French Believe group. Since July 2022, users have been able to publish unlimited music for an annual fee, the basic package costs 14.99 euros.
“The algorithms – whether from the social media or the streaming platforms – reward commitment and regular releases,” says Tunecore boss Andreea Gleeson in an interview with the FAZ. The new model has been well received, since the changeover artists have been releasing more and more often Music. That is also the way “how they are most likely to be successful in today’s market”.
According to the British analysis company Midia Research, artists who publish their music independently generated around 1.5 billion dollars in sales in 2021. This value is also growing steadily. The in-house Tunecore statistics match this: As of the beginning of December, the service has paid out 3 billion dollars to users from the marketing of their recordings since it was launched in 2006. In April there was still talk of $ 2.5 billion.