The Songs That Go Unheard

Every streaming music service has access to more songs than any of us will be able to listen to in our lifetimes.  The number of available tracks varies between 20 and 27 million, depending on who’s doing the bragging.

More is good, right?  Sure.  But here’s a fascinating stat from Spotify.  Of the 20 million or so songs in their library, 20% of them–at least 4 million tracks–have never been streamed.  Not once.  In five years.

I’d guess that many of these tracks are from indie bands who have uploaded their stuff and have yet to be discovered for whatever reason.  So much for that aspect of the Long Tail theory.

RAIN has a great idea, though: create an “Untouched Tracks” playlist to encourage people to explore these songs that have never been heard before.  Promote it like crazy.

Hell, not only should Spotify do this, but so should iTunes, Radio, Deezer, The Vault and anyone else who maintains a vast digital library.  What treasure awaits?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

One thought on “The Songs That Go Unheard

  • October 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    What a great idea! I'd want to be among the 1st to check out music that could be great!


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