Wednesday, June 3, 2020

12m SoundCloud creators get heard every month (but 13m don’t) | Music Ally

This year’s Midem music industry conference is online-only, with new video sessions being published daily this week. One of today’s crop sees SoundCloud’s Kerry Trainor, Downtown Music’s Justin Kalifowitz and Raine Group’s Fred Davis discussing artist and label services.

Trainor dropped an interesting pair of stats about his platform. “On SoundCloud we have content from over 25 million creators who are reaching audiences around the world,” he said. “Over 12 million of those creators get heard every month, which is in some ways to me the more powerful stat.”

A bleaker take might be that 13 million creators thus aren’t getting heard at all: 52% of SoundCloud’s creator community. We’re not highlighting this as criticism of the company specifically, but instead because it’s a useful insight into something that isn’t talked about (and certainly isn’t quantified) much: the community of ‘unlistened to’ artists – or ‘creators’ in SoundCloud’s case, since it’s also used by DJs and podcasters among others.

Perhaps Trainor’s comments will spark more discussion about this. For example, we regularly hear the statistic that 40,000 new tracks are uploaded to Spotify every day, but it might be time to think about how many of those songs are actually listened to, and what that means.

This was just one comment made in the longer Midem session, of course. It also saw Davis running through investment firm The Raine Group’s predictions for the ‘artists direct’ sector: artists operating outside the traditional label system.

“This area we’re talking about is absolutely the fastest growing segment in the entire music industry,” he said. “It was practically nothing two or three years ago, and this year it will be, we estimate a $2bn sector, 10% of the entire music industry, growing at a 35 to 40 per cent rate year over year.”

Kalifowitz agreed. “We’re watching markets that a few years ago had really very few independently distributed artists and everything was through the traditional system, growing at double and triple digit growth, which is fantastic to see,” he said. The full session is available from the Midem Digital Edition website, which is free to access with a registration.


Image by Adao /

Stuart Dredge


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