Nearly 80% of Spotify artists have fewer than 50 monthly listeners

MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves attention from the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is backed by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution and rights management company.


There is a sea of ​​music on Spotify that is very far from being popular.

Last month, MBW dug around on Spotify’s recently updated Loud and clear site to determine how many of the 8 mio artists on SPOT had released fewer than 10 tracks in their lifetime on the platform.

The answer? Over two thirds, or 67%.


This made us think: if Spotify is flooded with artists who rarely have released music … so how many artists on Spotify have released music that is rare listened to?

Back we went with Notepad in hand to Spotify’s Loud and clear website.

Spotify created Loud & Clear to offer transparent tracks to artists regarding their own careers. It has a very useful ‘popularity calculator’.

This smart widget (see below) reveals something very useful: how many tracks and / or artists on Spotify have surpassed certain levels of lifetime streams and / or monthly listeners.


Loud & Clears ‘popularity calculator’ (our description)

Into this ‘popularity calculator’ we put a simple query: the number of artists on Spotify with more than x monthly listeners where x monthly listeners is the minimum number allowed by the Loud & Clear page.

The smallest number was 35 (the ‘popularity calculator’ accepts nothing less). So we drove it – as well 50, 100and 1,000.

The results were … really something.

As you can see below, only 1.73 million artists on Spotify currently have more than 50 monthly listeners.

As mentioned earlier (again, thanks to the updated Loud & Clear page), there are around 8 mio artists with music on Spotify in total today.

So it’s a simple math maneuver to conclude it with 21.6% by artists on Spotify today – approx 1.7 million of them – have a larger monthly audience on the platform than 50 people.

Or yes, to put it another way: Almost 80% (78.4%) by artists on Spotify today – approx 6.3 million of them – have a monthly audience on the platform less than 50 people.

There are many hobbyists.




This is a pretty informative set of statistics for a few reasons.

First, it brings even more perspective to the debate about the streaming economy – especially the small percentage (0.2%) of the 8 million Spotify artists that generate $ 50,000 plus a year from the platform.

In addition, it makes you wonder how many loss-making Spotify has to burn each year just to host lots of music / artists that a handful of people – at best – actually listen to.

(One clue: In Spotify’s annual report for 2021, it noted that it saw “one [annual] increase in information technology costs EUR 33 million euros due to increase[s] in our use of cloud computing services and additional software licensing fees ”.)


Unfortunately, Spotify’s Loud & Clear will not let us dig deeper into the monthly listener question to find out, for example, how many artists on SPOT have completely zero listeners each month.

But one thing the site do allow us to do is run similar tracks to the above but in terms of music track on Spotify, and how many lifelong flows they have accumulated.


Spotify logo

Before we get into those numbers, it’s worth knowing this: According to Spotify’s annual report for 2021, there were “over 82 million” numbers in SPOT’s catalog at the end of last year.

However, the same annual report notes that this figure contained “more than 3.6 million podcast titles”.

Based on this, we can estimate that – at the end of 2021 at least – there were approx 78.4 million music tracks on Spotify.


Now let’s look at the number of game counts.

The lowest number Loud & Clear allows us to enter this part of its ‘popularity calculator’ 101 – ie. we can find out how many music tracks within the approximate 78.4 million available on Spotify has more than 101 player.

This figure comes out at 60.86 million.

(Note: When it comes to number of plays, Loud & Clear’s figures are based on data by the end of 2021 and relate to music content only.)

This means that almost a quarter of the tracks on Spotify today – approx 22.4%or 17.5 million of them – have been played fewer than 101 times since Spotify was launched in 2008.




Things will be really interesting, however, when we move up to our game count threshold (see above).

For example: According to Loud & Clear, some 38.69 million tracks on Spotify have been played more than 500 times to date.

It means that more than half (51%) of 78.4 million music tracks on Spotify have been played fewer than 500 times.

And what about numbers that have been played fewer than 1,000 times to date? What percentage of Spotify’s music catalog make up these tracks?

Some 60.8%.

Last: Not less than 79.1% of music tracks on Spotify – almost four out of five – have been played less than 5,000 times.


Oscar Wilde is famously credited for writing: “Popularity is the only insult I have ever suffered.”

Spotify’s data suggests that the majority of artists who have ever uploaded tracks to their platform – the vast majority in fact – remain just as random.


Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy Awards, dozens of gold and platinum RIAA certifications, and several No. 1 rankings on a number of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights like Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, TI, Sean Kingston, Anuel and hundreds more.Music business worldwide

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