Enlarge Stage photo by Petr Kratochvil

It’s Not Your Fault Nobody Cares About Your Band on Spotify


You ever get that feeling like your band’s basically just screaming into the void online? You’ve got the social media poppin’, your live shows are growing a little, but you just don’t feel like you’re getting much traction online? You may not be imagining things — at least when it comes to Spotify.

According to a recent study by Music Business Worldwide, it’s becoming harder and harder to get your songs listened to on the world’s largest music streaming platform, Spotify. That’s largely because the number of songs uploaded to the service recently passed 100,000 per day, with that figure expected to only grow exponentially.

Couple that with the streaming platform’s constantly growing listener base, which went from 433 million monthly active users during the second quarter of 2022 to 456 million monthly active users in the third quarter, and you have a situation where there are so many people listening to a shrinking number of songs and artists as uploads continue to explode on the service.

That reality was recently discussed during a Universal Music Group earnings call, which had Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy Michael Nash revealing that the music that hits Spotify’s servers largely sits unlistened to.

“The [streaming] platforms right now are flooded by a tidal wave of content as millions of creators [are] getting access. But these are essentially content uploaders; they’re not artists in the sense that we traditionally think of artists.

“Nearly 80% of this multimillion creator uploading pool has a monthly audience of less than 50 listeners. And, in fact, 90% of these creators have fewer than 400 monthly listeners. That’s 400 monthly listeners out of an audience of [over] 400 million [on Spotify]. So just to put a data point behind that: that means that 90% of these uploaders are engaging less than 1 millionth of the platform. These are hobbyists that are playing to an essentially empty house.”

“Less than one millionth of the platform.” That’s incomprehensibly tiny. I mean, when Nash goes on to further describe most of Spotify’s uploads as “noise” that’s not done by anyone that actually intends to be an artist, that’s got to be frustrating to anyone looking to make a living in music. We already knew Spotify pays next to nothing to artists for their work, but to have other uploaders further dilute the pool must be insanely frustrating.

“When you’re talking about 100,000 tracks being uploaded every day, you’re not talking about 100,000 different songs. You’re not talking about artists that have populated these platforms with new music – you’re talking about noise.

“What we believe is that the value for the [streaming] platforms to their business model – and the value proposition for our artists – is based on focusing on real artists and their content, and how we’re giving them access to their fans on these platforms.”

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