38 million songs on streaming services received 0 plays in 2022

With the new digital era of music streaming and home studios, the ability to release music and try to gain a global audience has evolved tremendously away from the former major label model of decades past. As the entry point to distribution has lowered, there appears to be a large number of tracks on streaming services that sit idle for years at a time.

As major streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, among others, look to stand out and draw in listeners, more and more artists are uploading new music and tracks to all of them every day. For artists, the days of requiring a label or major distributor to reach a major platform are long gone. Services like Distrokid, Tunecore, and CD Baby provide an all-in-one shop for helping artists get on popular streaming platforms and even provide extra services for managing catalogs and getting possible placement opportunities.

Of course, with more music than ever being released, there is more competition for listeners’ attention as they are overwhelmed by the constant stream of new uploads from a variety of sources. A recent study by Luminate revealed some harsh realities to this influx of content across platforms as a staggering 38 million songs received zero plays in 2022. That makes for a lot of dead air time and data on servers not seeing any movement or growth. While the number may seem astronomical, the study also reminds readers that 100,000 songs are uploaded to streaming platforms every single day. Such an influx of content is impossible to be digested in any meaningful way, but the complete lack of listens for millions of tracks reveals the true abyss of such a large plethora of content. While 38 million tracks with zero streams seem incredible, the even more staggering figure may be that 42% of songs received 10 streams or less throughout the year.


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Avid music fan, and avid music producer! Producer and songwriter for NOHC.

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