An analytics company called Alpha Data took a look at the state of streaming. By examining the fortunes of 1.6 million artists who released music on streaming music platforms over 18 months, 16,000 artist–1%–were responsible for 90% of all streams.
We can expand that, too. If we look at the top 10% of artists–160,000–they suck up 99.4% of the streams. Doing a flip on the math, it means that 1.4 million artists are fighting for that 0.6%. Almost half of all the artists in the analysis had 100 streams or less.
But this only tells a part of the story because we’re not sure how many artists actually live on Spotify. In March 2018, the company gave a number of three million. Things have obviously increased since then.
Then there are the songs that have never been streamed even once, which is estimated to include up to 20% of all songs posted to Spotify. For fun, used your Spotify account to sign on to Forgotify. It will give you a stream of songs no one has ever streamed before.
More details at Rolling Stone (paywall).