In the Before Times when record stores ruled the earth, even the biggest record store might have 100,000 titles in stock. If something you wanted wasn’t on the shelves, you had to order it and wait weeks, even months for it to come in. And if it was out of print, you were hooped. How…quaint.
When iTunes was introduced 21 years ago, Apple made a big deal that you could instantly buy 200,000 different songs. That number increased dramatically over the next couple of years into the millions. Streaming music services–otherwise known as DSPs (“digital streaming platforms”)–have changed everything even more.
This week, Apple music announced that Apple Music now gives users access to 100 million songs. To repeat, that’s 100,000,000 tracks.
In a press release, Apple boasted that they’ve gone from 1,000 songs in your pocket (the pitch for the original iPod) to 100,000 times that on Apple music. “More music than you can listen to in a lifetime, or several lifetimes. More music than any other platform. Simply the biggest collection of music, in any format, ever.”
For comparison, Spotify has 80 million songs in its library. Why the difference? I have a feeling that they’re some duplications of tracks. Apple offers songs in different resolutions and with and without Dolby Spatial Audio while Spotify does not, so that could account for the 20-million song gap.
Here’s more from the press release:
“Back in the 1960s, only 5,000 new albums were released each year. Today, anywhere in the world, in 167 countries on Apple Music, any artist of any description can write and record a song and release it globally. Every day, over 20,000 singers and songwriters are delivering new songs to Apple Music — songs that make our catalogue even better than it was the day before. One hundred million songs is evidence of a more democratic space, where anyone, even a new artist making music out of their bedroom, can have the next big hit.”
To commemorate the 100 million song mark, the company has launched a new audio show called Apple Music Today. Each day will bring the story of a new song. Here’s an example.