42% of 158M tracks on Spotify were played 10 or fewer times last year

Tuesday 28 March 2023

67.1 million tracks were played ten or fewer times last year. That is 42.1% of the approximately 158 million tracks available on the top streamer.

38 million tracks on Spotify were not played even once in 2022.

These sobering stats came via a presentation at SXSW by Rob Jonas, CEO of entertainment data firm Luminate.

Why care?

Storing all those rarely listened-to tracks costs real money. So setting some threshold could save Spotify millions. Alternatively, Spotify could find a way to charge these underperforming artists directly or via their distributors something to keep their tracks on the system. It’s an approach that the major labels, who have recently railed against clutter on the music services, would applaud.

But where does it begin and end?

Are 11 plays a year enough, or should it be 100 or 1000? And how will fans react? Will they migrate to a streaming service that kept its promise to “deliver all the music available for one month fee.”