It’s impossible to say how many songs there are worldwide, but my educated guess would be between 150 and 200 million songs. Spotify and Apple Music have 100 million songs in their catalogs, which does not include songs unavailable for streaming.
Counting All The Songs In The World
With all of the different eras and genres of music since the dawn of humankind, there are bound to be many songs written now.
There’s no way of knowing the exact number of songs in the world. Still, we can make an educated guess with research and critical thought.
In this article, we will look at how many songs there are worldwide.
What Does A Song Need For Inclusion In The Count?
For this article, three things will allow us to consider a song in the count. If a song has been physically written, performed live, or recorded, it qualifies as a song for this particular count.
Also, remixes and covers will count as a new song entry, but remastered or re-released versions of the same song will not.
If we don’t put these parameters on the count, there will be too many unfinished song ideas, jams, noodlings, and versions to keep track of.
Factors That Affect The Number Of Songs
Let’s look at a few factors that affect how many songs there are worldwide.
Genres Of Music
How many different genres of music there are is a substantial contributing factor to how many songs there are in the world.
We have classical, world, rock, jazz, swing, blues, pop, hip-hop, folk, metal, and electronic, to name a few of the more popular genres of music.
Over time, there have also been tons of music genres that have popped up, which only adds to the number of songs in the world.
Number Of Countries And Musicians
Something else that contributes to how many songs there are in the world is how many different countries there are and the music coming out of each.
Think about it: every country has musicians writing, performing, and recording music in many different styles daily.
This massive number of musicians from all over the world adds many more songs to the pool.
Finally, all of the technological advancements since music’s inception also play a massive part in the number of songs.
This is because more and more instruments and music-making devices have come out over time and have become more accessible to the everyday person.
For example, a few hundred years ago, not everyone could afford to make music in the classical era. Surviving was expensive enough! Not to mention, only white men could write and perform music in many places in those days.
These days, however, it is possible for the modern musician to write, record, and produce high-quality music within the comfort of a home studio. This is all thanks to technology.
Methods Of Counting Songs
Let’s dive into counting how many songs there are in the world.
Before some of the technological advancements we have today, trying to count the total number of songs in the world was a lot more painstaking and a lot less accurate.
Previously, you would have to rely on written records and manual counting rather than having any database to start your counting.
In these times, getting a reliable figure for how many songs exist worldwide was practically impossible.
These days, however, we have streaming services and online databases that can give us an excellent baseline number to work off of.
For example, there are about 100 million songs on Spotify and Apple Music. If we take this number and work off it, we can get a pretty good estimate of how many songs there are worldwide.
On top of the 100 million songs available for streaming, we have to take the following into account:
- Songs that have been written but not recorded and released.
- Songs that are not available for streaming.
- Songs that have been forgotten with time.
Technology has made it much more feasible to estimate how many songs there are today accurately.
Limitations Of Counting Songs
There will always be limitations when it comes to counting the total number of songs worldwide.
Because of all the different variables, such as countless musicians and artists in numerous countries worldwide, it is no simple task.
We will never be able to accurately answer just how many songs there are in the world, and nothing can change this.
Due to recording equipment being more affordable for the common person these days, more music is being written, recorded, and released than ever before.
Before the 2000s and the dawn of digital audio, however, only recording studios could afford to purchase professional audio gear. For this reason, fewer artists could record and release music back in the day.
These days, anyone can set up a basic home studio that will allow them to produce their own music for around as low as $1,000. Remember, this price tag is for a basic home studio setup.
As time passes, the number of songs worldwide will grow exponentially.
There are anywhere from 40,000-60,000 songs uploaded to Spotify every day. At that rate, the number of songs on streaming services will top 200 million before we know it! Although this will take anywhere from 5-10 more years.
So, How Many Total Songs Are There In The World?
Now, without further delay, let’s look at the main question!
If I had to make an educated guess, based on the parameters set earlier, I estimate that there are about 175 million songs worldwide.
This considers the 100 million songs available on streaming services and a huge cushion for songs that are not recorded and released/songs that are not available for streaming.
Figuring out how many songs there are in the world is challenging, but this is a solid estimate.
How Has Technology Changed The Way We Create And Store Music?
Technology has caused an enormous change in how we create and store music.
Let’s look at a few hundred years ago, for example. The only way to write music was to write it using an instrument, a pen, and paper. The only way to store it was on score paper. There was no recording or storage technology at all.
Even as recording technology began to advance, we still needed to improve how we could store music. We had to keep it on tape or vinyl. After the studio/record company uses the master copy to print consumer copies, they would safely store it away.
In this day and age, though, we record and store music in digital formats. This is much safer than the old-fashioned way because digital files will not take damage from fire, water, etc. You can even create multiple copies of the same file in seconds.
As technology has advanced, how we create and store music has followed.
How Reliable Are Historical And Recent Estimates For The Total Number Of Songs in The World?
It is a challenging task to estimate how many songs there are worldwide.
For this reason, historical estimates of how many songs there are worldwide might not be accurate. There are too many variables to have been able to keep track of back in the day.
On the other hand, recent estimates are much more accurate. We have more tools and resources to help us determine the total number of songs in the world.
For example, streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, etc., help us get an excellent baseline number to work off. As of 2023, there are 100 million tracks on Spotify and Apple Music.
This number of 100 million tracks helps us figure out how many songs there are worldwide.
Due to technological advancements, more recent estimates of how many songs there are worldwide will be the most accurate.
What Are The Key Trends And Factors To Consider In Future Projections For The Number of Songs?
Here are some things to remember when projecting how many songs there will be in the future.
- There is an increasing number of musicians and artists due to equipment becoming more and more accessible.
- More and more genres will continue to pop up as music evolves.
- Artists will continue to remix and sample other music, increasing the number of written and recorded songs.
- It is becoming more accessible and easier to publish your music online with services such as DistroKid and CD Baby.
The number of total songs worldwide will only grow as time goes on!
What Is The Average Song Length?
The average length of a song is between three and three and a half minutes. There are plenty of outliers, but this is a reliable average.
Over the years, this average song length has become a standard for writing modern music.
How Many Songs Get Uploaded To Spotify Every Day?
About 50,000-60,000 new tracks are uploaded to Spotify daily.
Don’t let this large figure scare you as an artist. If you are persistent and talented, you will find your niche audience!
How Many Artists Are On Spotify?
There are currently over 11 million artists that have music on Spotify.
Keep in mind also that this number is constantly growing.
What Is The Most Streamed Song On Spotify?
The most streamed song on Spotify is ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd, with over 3.4 billion plays.
‘Shape Of You’ by Ed Sheeran is a close second with over 3.3 billion plays.
Will Music Always Be A Part Of Human Life?
Yes, as long as humans are alive, music will be too.
The reason for this is that almost everyone on the planet enjoys music. It has become a massive part of our daily lives.