Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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The Rise Of Catalog Music Vs New Music On The Charts Today

You are not alone if you’re struggling to keep up with all the new music released today. With over 100,000 songs being uploaded to digital streaming services each day, the average listener would have to trawl through that massive number of tunes to stay on top of new releases daily.

Catalogues now make up almost 70% of all the music today. From that perspective, new music releases are just as important as past catalogues for any artist in growing their fanbase. Anyone who dives into Spotify’s Global Weekly Top Songs Chart would quickly note that increasingly, more catalogue tracks are positioning on the platform than ever before. Spotify revealed that since 2020, there has been a 155% rise in catalogue tracks representing charting songs, enjoying a significant boost in 2022. 

It is also noteworthy that younger audiences today enjoy past music. Spotify has recently shared prominent data; “for listeners under 25, over the past four years, their portion of total streams represented by music from the 80s has increased by 45%”. Thanks to the plethora of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, where reels and short-form clips are almost always accompanied by music, it has never been easier for any tracks (catalogue or new music) to find their virality with the right audience and content. The resurgence of oldie tracks that found insane popularity from TikTok from artists like Fleetwood Mac, Baby Queen, Metallica, Manu Pilas, and more demonstrates a vastly different trend of music discovery today.  

Source: Spotify for Artists, Fan Study on Catalogs

Most recently, Apple Music also celebrated the significant milestone of having over 100 million songs on its platform. Putting this into context, the number stood at roughly 70 million just two years ago. This figure not only highlights the phenomenal growth that Apple Music has witnessed over the last 21 years since the invention of iTunes but also accentuates the fact that discovering new music will increasingly be a challenge today compared to the past. Fifty years ago, only about 5,000 new albums were released each year. Still, the distinct increase in numbers today marks the accessibility of putting out new music, especially with more democratic spaces and self-service platforms. 

While new music is released daily, the tendency to lean towards nostalgia makes catalogue music popular among fans. As an artist, fans who have discovered your music are likely to actively look up your discography, artist’s playlists, and album profiles. In the same vein, your day-one fan is also likely to frequent your past catalogues and return to their favourite tracks that kicked off their arduous support for your musical career. On that note, the higher organic activities surrounding past records stimulate the rise of catalogue resurgence on the charts today. 

With the understanding that catalogue tracks are now taking a more significant share of streams and dominating higher positions on the music charts today, it becomes all the more essential for artists and labels to prioritise resources on their past releases as much as for their new music.   

Words by Sheila Lim

Posted On 7 November, 2022