Spotify’s Stream On event took place back in February 2021. The event that focused on the app features and the statistics of Spotify that users don’t really think about. The app updated its Stream On page last week with a statistic showed that Spotify drops 60,000 songs a day. That rounds off to one song per second. What are listeners supposed to do with all this music? What does this mean for the future of the music industry?
Let’s start with uploading songs to Spotify. I always thought it was this advanced process where the artists’ management set up the release time for the song drops. But when the local artists at my school started dropping songs on this platform, I knew it wasn’t that exclusive. When it’s so easy to produce something, it takes the value away from that product.
It takes away from the process of being a musician. It’s easy for just anyone to upload anything. Spotify seems like a more legitimate app that allows only lets credible creators release their music.
There’s a bright side too – it gives small artists a platform. Spotify has a special feature with daily mixes where it suggests other artists based on the music you already listen to. You never know who your next favorite artist is going to be.
However, artists make between $.006-$.0084 per stream. For small artists that may get 1,000 streams, that’s $6-$8 total. Think of your favorite big artist: Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, Doja Cat, whoever. These people have between 40-60 million streams monthly. For every 50 million streams, AKA listeners, they’re making only $300,000 a month. I know that still sounds like a lot, but compared to digital CD sales it’s nothing. Let’s say 50 million people bought a digital CD which costs about $15. That would make a sales of $750 million. That’s an insane difference.
With this new standard, these popular artists are making their albums longer. An album usually ranges from 10-12 tracks, but now it’s more common for a tracklist to be as long as 20 songs. This takes away from the quality of the music because they aren’t focusing on quality rather than quantity. Look at the difference in track numbers on Drake’s 2010 album versus 2017 album. That’s 8 extra songs. I mean who could be mad at more Drake content? But creators are just spewing out music to make money rather than for enjoyment or the art of it.
The main feature of Spotify is that listeners only have to pay a few dollars a month to listen to whatever they want. But for the artists, they lose out on a lot of money. Listeners don’t have to pay for albums to be able to listen to the music like they used to. They have to rely on streams from each song to make money.
Spotify’s easy accessibility and low profit seem to take away the originality and thoughtful process of producing music. Artists are just making songs shorter, albums longer, and releasing more often. So this brings me to my question: is Spotify helping or hurting the music industry? With everything I’ve presented, that’s for you to decide.