Inspiring: 80% of Spotify Songs Streamed at Least Once


Last week we learned that 20% of the over 20 million songs on Spotify had never been streamed. Millions of aspiring musicians can sympathize.

With the exception of the most well-connected, silver-spooned rock and roll progeny (we’re looking at you, Miley Cyrus), every musician has experienced the dreaded thought: “What if I spend all this time on my songs and nobody listens to them?” Sure, friends and family will pat your back, but with so many songs out there, what chance do you have of being heard amidst the noise, even if your stuff is really good?

We prefer to look at the Spotify stat in a positive light. The fact that 80% of its song catalog has been streamed at least once means that the long tail for music listening is 16 million songs long. And we’re confident that given just a few more years, the relatively new Spotify service could be streaming 90% of its catalog or more.

For just as many songs as Spotify does have in its catalog, the majority of recorded music is not on there. That’s because there are countless recordings that were produced but never released by labels, innumerable unsigned artist catalogs with no one to represent them, and so on. Yet whether limited legally or business-wise, this music is still being listened to with love by those with non-streaming access to it.

There is always an audience out there for you beyond friends and family, even if it’s just a few people. Finding this audience was simply not possible 15 years ago. Sure, there were zines and scenes, but that was a subculture. Now, free or near-free access to the world’s music is as easy as typing a band name into Google or Spotify. Free or near-free access to music is mainstream, and it’s never been a better time for musicians to be heard.

Instead of being scared of the noise of millions of songs drowning out your little composition, you should feel empowered. You live in a time like none other — when musicians can potentially discovered around the globe without ever leaving their house (though we certainly recommend you tour!)

Yes, there is more music being made than ever before, but to look at those songs and artists as “competition” misses the point of music: to connect people. More music, more connections. And these connections happen faster than ever. The best thing you can do to make more connections is to make more music. Inevitably, this will result in you making better music, both for yourself and your fans.

Of course, there’s much, much more you can do to get your songs heard, but the first step is having a positive mental attitude about it. If you’re looking for more tips, browse our Tools and Hacks, or go take our free Band as Business video course on Udemy.