opinion Opinion June 13, 2018

Op-Ed: How many tracks are uploaded to streaming services a day anyway?

Christie Eliezer
Contributing Editor
Op-Ed: How many tracks are uploaded to streaming services a day anyway?

How many new tracks are added to music streaming services every 24 hours?

Well, no one is sure, give that some streaming services are uber-secretive about their numbers, and some can’t even get the volume of their subscribers right.

In January 2018, TMN did a ring-around of music and digital execs to find out, but didn’t get very far.

Responses ranged from the good (“it’s growing”) to the bad (“dunno”) and the ugly (“anywhere between 10,000 to 30,000 every 24 hours”).

But in recent times, we have got stronger indications that the figure is much higher.

In March, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek shared at the Recode conference, “We have 30 million pieces of content and we have 30,000 new pieces of content being uploaded every single day.”

He explained that 170 million users are telling them “Help us find more great content” and their 3 million creators are simultaneously saying, “Help me find an audience.”

More recently, last week, in fact, Bill Patrizio, president & CEO of Rhapsody International/Napster, was being interviewed on stage at MIDEM and revealed that his firm adds 24,000 new tracks every 24 hours, adding to a catalogue of over 50 million.

Napster is not one of the major players any more. Its last available subscription figures, from 2015, put it at 3.5 million.

But figures calculated last year by Digital Music News found it had one of the highest payouts for artists and labels.

With just 90,000 plays, an artist would earn $1,472, with DMN pointing out that was the US monthly minimum wage.

Compared at that time were Spotify with a per-stream rate of $0.0038 (it has risen since then) and YouTube with $0.0006 per play.

To put it in perspective, the financial reports of the three major labels indicated that in 2017 they made an estimated $14.2 million a day from streaming services.

Universal Music Group alone made $4.5 million a day.

During his MIDEM address, Napster’s Patrizio expected that the number of daily tracks and daily pay-outs would grow over the next few years.

This would be due to two major trends.

Firstly more corporate brands would want to enter the music business.

Rather than build their own systems, they would most likely partner with the different streaming services and create greater diversification.

Secondly, there would be more pricing tiers, drawing more subscribers.

Napster wasn’t aiming for market dominance, Patrizio said.

“Even a 20% slice of $20 billion is a $4 billion market – and that’s sizeable for companies like Napster.”

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