January 10, 2019

Indie Artists Have More Of A Chance To Be Heard Than Ever Via Streaming

We live in a world where a big hit regularly sees hundreds of millions and even over a billion streams or views. Even at a fraction of a cent each, that many plays generates some serious money. But what if you’re an indie artist with little hope of garnering hundreds of millions of streams without a major label’s infrastructure behind you? It turns out that major hits are taking a smaller piece of the overall streaming pie these days.

According to BuzzAngle’s latest report, the Top 50 most-streamed songs in 2018 claimed just 0.7% of all streams, which means about 3.74 billion streams. In contrast, in 2017 however, the Top 50 songs garnered 5 times more streams (3.9%), or 14.7 billion plays.

So last year there were almost 42% more streams in the U.S. than the year before, yet the Top 50 hits had roughly 75% fewer plays!

Even more eye-opening, BuzzAngle placed the Top 500 tracks on on-demand audio streaming services in the US last year at 10.7% of total streams.

So what we’re seeing is that music consumers are listening to more streams than ever before, but they’re listening to the hits less.

Of course, this is great news for every artist that isn’t in the Top 500 because it means that the streaming services aren’t skewed so totally in that direction that it means that you can never receive substantial plays. This might have been true for the record business of years past, but no longer today, so the dream of a more diverse music business has somewhat come to pass.

While it’s true that the big hits still tend to dominate many playlists, all the growth from streaming last year came from music that were not hits. Your music can find an audience if you’re willing to work it, and there’s proof that you don’t need a big hit for that to happen (yes, it certainly does help though).

According to BuzzAngle’s latest report, the Top 50 most-streamed songs in 2018 claimed just 0.7% of all streams, which is equivalent to 3.74 billion streams. In contrast, in 2017, however the Top 50 songs garnered 5 times more streams (3.9%), or 14.7 billion plays.

So last year there were almost 42% more Spotify plays in the U.S. than the year before, yet the Top 50 hits had roughly 75% fewer streams!

Even more eye-opening, BuzzAngle says that the Top 500 tracks on on-demand audio streaming services in the US last year at 10.7%.

So what we’re seeing is that music consumers are listening to more streams than ever before, but they’re listening to the hits less.

Of course, this is great news for every artist that isn’t in the Top 500 because it means that the streaming services aren’t skewed so totally in that direction that it means that you can never receive substantial streams. This might have been true for the record business of years past, but no longer today, so the dream of a more diverse music business has somewhat come to pass.

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