Spotify has streamed over a million years of music

To celebrate its fifth birthday this week, Spotify posted an infographic of intriguing usage statistics. A million years of streaming in five years of operation — 200,000 years per year, 17,000 years per month — is fun to ponder. One user has created over 90,000 playlists, which is frighteningly organized even for the most avid lean-in listener. President Obama is on Spotify.

Eighty percent of Spotify’s 20-million song catalog has been streamed. The flip side is that 20 percent has not been touched, presumably even by the indie artists who distributed their stuff there. Twenty percent seems like a surprisingly large portion of Spotify’s long tail to go untouched. 

Here is our recommendation to Spotify: Create an “Untouched Tracks” playlist, which auto-updates with each new addition, and removes tracks the moment they are first streamed from the playlist. Award honor points to users who get first-streamer bragging rights, and an Adventurous Listener award every month to the user who has first-listened to the most music. Promote it adequately, and that 20 percent unstreamed statistic will shrink in no time.

Brad Hill