Back in October we reported that there were over 100,000 songs being uploaded to streaming services like Spotify every single day. And guess what? It's gotten worse since then!
According to Music Business Worldwide, there are now an average of roughly 120,000 songs uploaded to streaming services every day. That works out to just over 10 million tracks uploaded throughout the first quarter of 2023 alone, and puts us on track for about 43 million for the year. Assuming that the average doesn't rise again, which it seems likely to given the exponential growth. For reference, the average number of tracks uploaded to streaming services daily in 2022 was 93,400 – so it's still very much on the rise.
So what the hell is going on? According to the same report, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Sir Lucian Charles Grainge CBE says a lot of it has to do with AI music.
"Not many people realize that AI has already been a major contributor to this content oversupply," said Grainge. "Most of this AI content on DSPs comes from the prior generation of AI, a technology that is not trained on copyrighted IP and that produces very poor quality output with virtually no consumer appeal."
Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl also brought up the problem of how streams are paid out, saying "Every stream [in music today] is valued exactly the same way. That doesn't seem like something that"s aligned with the way the world works. It can"t be that an Ed Sheeran stream is worth exactly the same as a stream of rain falling on the roof."
This is all a problem for two reasons. One, the more there is on streaming services the harder it is to make a living. For reference, just 14,700 DIY artists made over $10,000 in streaming and publishing royalties in 2022 – down from the 15,140 in 2021. Two, rising above all the (literal and figurative) noise means platforms like Spotify can offer frankly predatory deals like Discovery Mode, which allows artists to be heard by more people for less pay.