How much more can the music streaming business grow? Well…

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

Back in September at a music conference in Singapore, Sir Lucian Grainge, the CEO of Universal Music Group, stated that 100,000 new songs were being uploaded to streaming music platforms every day. That figure was confirmed at the same conference by Steve Cooper, the departing CEO of Warner Music Group.

The audience was shocked. Numbers like 25,000 or even 60,000 have been tossed around. But 100,000?

To be fair, neither man was talking about 100,000 unique and different songs. This number includes all the remixes, edits, alternate versions, live performances, special mixes (Dolby ATMOS/high-res/Spatial Audio, etc.), and the odd duplicate. But it’s still a lot. Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, and YouTube Music all say they have at least 100 million tracks available. Spotify could be at that level, too, but the most recent official number I’ve seen for their library is 82 million.

To put that into perspective, even the biggest record store back in the olden days (i.e. pre-Internet) stocked 100,000 titles at most. If we assume that each album has an average of 12 tracks, that’s a mere 1.2 million songs.

We’ve long passed the point of Too Much Music. Our choices are endless, practically infinite. And this isn’t a good thing. Let me count the ways.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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