Image credit: Soundtrap

With more music being made and released than ever, we look at how many plays the music available on streaming services really gets.

In 2023, over 100,000 ISRCs were delivered to digital audio platforms a day on average. The immense amount of audio being uploaded represents the equalisation of opportunity for artists big and small, but also means more music than can realistically be listened to.

Over 436,000 tracks were streamed more than a million times last year. It’s a staggering number of songs and artists with an incredible reach, thanks to the availability of music streaming and the freedom to upload offered by digital distributors like RouteNote.

Over 7 trillion songs were streamed in 2023. At 33.7% higher than 2022, it represents an incredible era for music consumption and by extension a time of fantastic opportunity for artists big and small to get heard and make money from their music.

On the other side of the spectrum, 45.6 million tracks had 0 streams in 2023. This is according to the data from Luminate’s 2023 Year-End Music Report. They revealed that 158.6 million tracks received 1,000 plays or less on streaming services last year. These stats represents plays across a range of streaming services, not Spotify.

Why are 1,000 plays important on Spotify

The 1,000 plays mark has become significant for tracks on Spotify as they recently announced policy changes for royalty distribution. One of the changes will be a threshold of 1,000 plays before tracks become eligible for royalty earnings on Spotify.

Spotify state that by introducing this streaming threshold, they will free up extra cash for artists earning more plays. They explain that tracks with under 1,000 plays are earning an average of $0.03. This is generally too little for banks and distributors to pay out.

Spotify revealed that 99.5% of all streams on their service are of tracks that earn 1,000 streams or more a year. These tracks will earn more thanks to the money re-allocated due to this policy change.

Spotify will still pay publishing royalties for songs with less than 1,000 plays.

How to get 1,000 plays on Spotify

As an artist, we understand how Spotify’s policy change may cause concern. Thankfully, at RouteNote we have experience working with independent artists for years, watching them grow to success whilst releasing music on their own terms.

We have a bunch of amazing resources on the RouteNote music blog and YouTube channel. Here a selection to get you started on your journey to getting 1,000 plays and many more. Find out more about Groover’s best tips to get more Spotify streams here.

Get to know Spotify for Artists, your one-stop hub for making your artist profile shine, interacting with fans, and pulling in new listeners all from one place.

Spotify recently launched their Campaign Kit to specifically help artists promote their music and find the right audience to become fans.

Follow our How to Market a Release series on YouTube for advice on how to get the best reach in the lead-up to your release, on the day it goes live, and how to keep the traction going after.

Release your music to all the major streaming services for free at RouteNote. You stay in control of your releases and earn money from plays at