With more tracks than any other platform, Apple Music now has the most extensive music collection ever. It surpasses YouTube’s current reported collection of 80 million songs, Spotify’s 82 million tracks and podcasts and Amazon Music’s 90 million songs.
The company adds 20,000 new artists and songwriters to its collection daily.
Interestingly, the number of songs has grown exponentially and seen a rapid increase in recent years, having more than doubled from 50 million in 2018. Some analysts believe the pandemic and consequent lockdowns are one reason for this acceleration.
Apple Music’s global head of editorial, Rachel Newman, is keen to stress that reaching this new milestone is “evidence of a more democratic space, where anyone, even a new artist making music out of their bedroom, can have the next big hit”. Although, any such spin should be taken with a pinch of salt, as streaming platforms look to overcome criticism of the meagre amounts it pays artists.
How much does Apple Music pay its artists?
Apple Music pays artists reasonably well – or at least better than the others – at around $0.01 a stream. That’s up to $10,000 (£8,953) per million song streams on the platform.
That’s superior to Spotify’s payment, for instance, which sits between $0.003 and $0.005 per stream, according to Business Insider. Apple was so proud that it sent artists a letter last year informing them it was giving them a fairer deal.
All in all, Apple has been one of the big players in dramatically revolutionising – for better or worse; some would argue – our music consumption ever since iTunes was established in January 2001, with a collection of 200,000 then.
And in the company’s message today, they make it known that having so many songs available makes hand-curating playlists an ongoing mammoth task. There are currently around 30,000 playlists on the platform, which range from moods and periods to genres and regions.
Apple Music has also revealed that its users aren’t just listening to new music, but with essentially a historical archive at their fingertips, are delving into the back catalogues of artists, too – a reason that the sales of these have rocketed recently.
The average release date of a song that people choose to listen to is from March 7, 2017 – an average pulled down by people exploring such older tunes.
With such a mindset, Apple Music has launched a new series, ‘Apple Music Today’, which explores the history of a new track every day, starting with Sinead O’Connor’s mega-hit ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.
“We know that it’s more important than ever that we are elevating artists’ voices and providing opportunities for them to tell their own stories and contextualise their music,” Newman added, explaining the motivation of the series. “It is no longer enough just to connect artists and fans; it’s about making those connections deeper and more meaningful.”
With so much music to cut through, this much is true.