Billions upon billions of songs

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I think part of the reason for my slowdown this 50/90 is that I recently had a bit of a shock concerning how much new music is released every week.

Specifically, I recently came upon a website that every week lists all of the albums that have just come to Spotify.

I've long understood that lots of music is routinely released, especially in today's world, where technology is such that pretty much anyone can get in on the music game (like me!). But I wasn't prepared for these actual numbers.

On Friday, July 9, 2016, there were 2,956 albums added to Spotify. Two-thousand, nine hundred and fifty-six! In a single week!

If you include singles, there were a total of 10,837 releases!

This past Friday (7/16), there were 2,969 albums and 11,704 singles.

From perusing a few of the earlier weeks available on the Waybackmachine at the internet archive, these numbers seem pretty typical.

In just half an hour of exploration (which obviously barely scratched the surface), I found a number of swell performers I'd never heard of before. But in addition to my delight at all of the wonderful music available, I'm just a bit cowed too. There's just so much music out there, there's no way I could find or listen to everything I would like, even if I treated that as my full-time job. It's a bit depressing really.

And that's just from a listener's perspective. Even though I have no aspiration to ever achieve fame or fortune (or a single dollar) from my music, seeing these numbers made me realize just how "small" most of us are in the constellation of earthly musicians. That shouldn't stop me (or anyone) from making the music they want to make, of course. But it did give me a mental pause as I've mulled over this reality.

Oh well, back to work. Smile

Oh well. I'm perfectly fine living in the far reaches of the universe on my little uninhabited planet. Occasionally some friends, family and super cool FAWMers and FiNiners stop by. I'd probably be pretty freaked out about those numbers if I still wanted to be a musician by trade. But I'm old now, so it's all good. Good Good

My awe is more confined, to the talent I have met here/FAWM, and in person at our local Americana Community Music Association and house concerts, Summersongs East songwriting camp etc. I see the skill level, dedication, and work it takes to have a CD or be onstage and make a living from music. I see my friends who depend on music for a living sing their hearts out for a few people or a few dollars. Self-comparison to my skill level follows. I sigh.

Then I remember that there is only one @OdilonGreen only one @Valerie Cox only one......list every FiNier/FAWMer....... and we all have unique experiences, points of view and tools to assemble songs to sing and/or play.

That said, like @Valerie Cox I too am content to make my art for me and the few who may like it in my far flung teeny tiny speck of planet Andy. I realize I am the only one that can write the songs burning inside me.

I long ago gave up all dreams of fame and fortune musical; I'm thankful if I can get 10 FAWMers to listen to my songs! But I love making music and it's a great creative outlet for me, personally, so I don't mind toiling in obscurity. My sense of reality is probably what's hindering my efforts toward getting more serious with recording layers and overdubs and such, on the negative side of the ledger.

And I have a completely different take on the numbers. @AndyGetch and I were chatting online about this recently. I always thought singers and songwriters were on a pedistal; that I could never be special enough. FAWM introduced me to people who are just like me who are writing songs and getting their music out there. If they can do it, then so can I! It's like Data from Star Trek....finding a whole planet of people just like him. Instead of feeling small, I feel HUGE, because I'm working side by side with over 3000 people! WOW! I'm doing what I love, and others love it too. That's enough for me. Smile

Good thread. Nothing much to add. Call it the power of music.

I think there's always been a lot of people out there making music... just now we have access to... like... all of them. Think about it. At first we only heard the music being played live in our own communities. That didn't mean that there were no musicians in the next community. Then wax discs, then radio and we were hearing musicians from all over the region. That didn't mean there weren't other musicians in the country. The radio got better and we could hear people from all over the county, then Canada, Mexico, Europe. Our world hasn't been getting bigger (well a little, but not that much), we've just been hearing more of it. And our brains can only process so much at one time, so if you ever get overwhelmed... go to a concert or an open mic or a jam. Have that personal connection. It takes the edge off.

You have to do this for your own selfish reasons. I love that there's a small community here that will take the time to listen to songs. But I have to put things together in a way that makes me happy, and if nobody else ever listened or commented, I would still have done what I thought sounded right.

@OdilonGreen thanks for the info and the link. I had to click a genre to find a working link but when I did I could sample lots of music.

I think if some one wanted to make money with music then they would need to "perform that music live" and probably could sell their CD at those events. You most likely are "not" going to get on the radio. You could youtube....what, maybe get a couple hundred clicks...no monies. I don't think so. How about a thousand clicks with no monies? How about no clicks and no money? Do you see the pattern here? We never get paid but we keep doing music anyway.

Van Gogh died a pauper. And Mozart, and Janis Joplin. It's never about the money. I can't NOT do it. I must create art.

We create because we have to. At least that's it for me. If I can make a bit of money from it, all the better.

Yes, there may have be almost 3,000 albums uploaded to Spotify every day, but think of it as just any other platform. You actually have far more chance nowadays of having other people hear your music than ever in history, by far.

We can release an album without a record label 'spotting' us, and release it on iTunes & Spotify as long as it meets certain criteria. I have an obscure album on iTunes, and it brings in about $10 a month in streaming revenue. That's without me doing anything at all, ever. I know folks who purposely make loads and loads of albums and release them in this way. Assuming that each one may earn an average of only $5 a month, it soon adds up.

But I prefer to create and let someone else promote Smile

Gosh, we need a "like" button here. I love so many of these posts.

I don't often think about how much music is already out there in terms of adding my own music to that massive mix. But when I'm finding music to listen to, I can get overwhelmed. So other than 5090ers and FAWMers, I tend to go for my tried and true favorites instead of new music. For awhile I was listening to new pop music because of my daughter, but now she's studying voice and she's into opera and show tunes (which is new music to me).
As far as getting paid just a bit for my music, these days it's all by performing - I did go the CD route 8-10 years ago, but no more. I perform at the yoga studio my wife and I own - we have a weekly class set to live acoustic music and I'm the player or teacher about once a month. Sometimes I'll play a song or two for one of my other classes - usually with a yoga theme. So I suppose the payment for that is students coming to the studio.
And @AndyGetch and I perform at a local market where occasionally we get tips but more often we are paid in fruits and vegetables (given to, not thrown at, us), soap, honey, tamales, pickles, etc.
Finally, when it comes to writing my own music, sometimes I do think about why I'm writing new songs when I already have hundreds and hundreds of them. But like you I do it because I get satisfaction from it - and I can't stop.

I have some 12,000 artists scrobbled on my last.fm profile, and it consistently supplies new recommendations for me, many which are really fantastic. Still, we've reached some sort of escape velocity as humans and artists. Finding something meaningful in the sea of information will become more and more important as the years go by and it all continues to accumulate. I think live and local will be more and more important, and at the same time, online cultures like us here at FAWM and 50/90.

When I was very little I had an album by "The Archies" and there was a song on side 2 called "3 Billion People" . Every time I see this thread that's all I can hear in my head. Anyone else remember "The Archies"?

@izaak I know the feeling as everything I click sounds good. They're trying to get me to buy! But I only window shop and mostly have zero interest in what they are doing with music and usually prefer my own playlist anyway. I have superstars sitting in my CD collection collecting dust. I stop by to see if I am missing out and I see more and more everyday. There is probably a lot of older recordings available now too. Perhaps they may have been canned but still exist, and now they show up on the internet in MP3 format. You don't have to make a record....all you need is MP3 download to make money. That said, I still think you have to perform to impress anybody. Those peoples music I clicked on....I couldn't care less. In fact most of it was too loud (loudness wars). I'm going to go now and listen to classical music from the classical period (just before the romantic period).

[@brrrse] I'm pretty sure I watched the cartoon....and pretty sure it was because I was hoping they'd sing that song from the A side. Smile

Greatest hits of the 1700's!

Yes, so much good music!

I should definately listen to more music.