How Many Songs are There in the World? (2022)

Online music databases contain 100s of millions of recorded songs. It’s hard to know the real number, and it depends on what we consider a song to be. Naturally, a song is a short piece of music that combines both melody and vocals, although, there are instrumental songs as well.

Before we get into the statistics of it all, it is vital to remember that not only original songs fall under the term ‘songs’. As we all know, there are many cover versions of songs that have their own recordings and have done quite well as standalone, even instances where they have surpassed the original version.

There are also remastered versions of songs like The Beatles’ “Yesterday”, this would also count as a new song entry. Not to mention the countless ‘live versions’ that have landed a spot on recordings, CDs, vinyl, etc. And, we can’t count out ‘remixes’. With all this in mind, there should be a HUGE number of songs in the world.

If you search the web, the first thing that pops up on Google regarding this question is 97 million songs. However, Spotify keeps a record of 82 million songs. But according to Gracenote, there are more than 200 million songs up until 2018, so that number should be higher right now.

While most of us have wondered and asked the question “how many songs are there in the world?”, the truth is, we can never really know, all we can do is just look at the stats and see what the results are from different platforms like Spotify, Gracenote, or other ones.

It’s truly an impossible task to be able to pinpoint the number of songs in the world with such a huge amount of songs being put out daily. But we’ll look at some of the stats across the web and various platforms.

The Web’s Answer

When you type this question into Google, the first thing that pops out is 97 million songs. This is indeed a large number of songs, however, according to the registry on Gracenote, they had 79 million songs up until 2011.

Considering the fact that statistics say – a new song is written every two minutes, I’d say that that number should be way higher than 97 million at this point. But we’ll get to Gracenote’s statistics a little later.

Most of the ‘people ask’ sections like Quora or Reddit will have roughly about the same answer regarding this question. It ultimately revolves around 97 million songs, ranging as far as 230 million songs on some answering platforms.

Again, it is an almost impossible question to answer, and even if we obtain a definitive response, we can’t be sure that the statistics are correct.

Songs in the World According to Spotify

Spotify is very dominant in music streaming at this point, so it’s no surprise that their word should be considered regarding this question. Spotify has been around since 2008, and they’ve been adding new artists and songs to their library every day.

According to Spotify’s data, they maintain a database of 82 million songs and a record of 60,000 new songs added every day. This is a massive figure, which simply demonstrates why Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming service and has the most subscribers.

Coming back to the statistics, this puts Spotify to have an average of one song being uploaded every 1.4 seconds. This is truly an interesting fact to consider since the data was recorded by the end of 2021. Knowing this, I’d say that at the beginning and early part of 2022, Spotify will surely surpass the 100 million mark regarding the number of songs.

Songs in the World According to Gracenote

Gracenote is a Global Music Data Company that provides a comprehensive understanding of music and music fandom to more than 1.5 billion consumers every day. They keep a large registry of music data and they provide it to many different people and companies.

According to Gracenote’s registry, they had roughly about 79 million songs up until 2011. This surely puts a question mark over all the other answers because that data was 11 years ago. Going forward with said data, Gracenote had 200 million songs registered up until 2018.

Now, a lot of factors can come into play here, if we take the statement that a new song comes out every two minutes – then from 2018 up until now, there should be a higher number of songs in the world.

Taking into consideration that Gracenote is one of the most well-known and comprehensive Global Music Data collection platforms, it’s still hard to choose between Gracenote and Spotify, seeing as they’re both very large platforms. Again, it’s hard to determine which answer is correct even with knowing the data they set out.

Are there even more Songs in the world?

Undoubtedly, there are more songs that any platform will keep a record of. Taking into consideration that not all songs that are made are recorded, who knows how many songs there actually are in the world?

This is something that no one can know for sure, the number of songs will always remain a mystery, regardless of what any platform statistics say. There is a lot of undocumented work without question. Nevertheless, all we can do is rely on statistics at this moment.

If we consider how many unreleased versions of songs there are, then that number rises even higher. Like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, supposedly, Cohen had around 70-80 verses written and chose only 7 for the original version. He was known to throw in others when performing the song live.

Conclusion

The question of how many songs are there in the world is simply impossible to answer with an accurate number. Some large online platforms have their own data, but it’s hard to confirm which numbers can be trusted.

Considering the fact that the web has about 97 million songs on average shown by Google, while Spotify states they have 82 million, it is safe to assume that music only continues to grow.


Another interesting fact is that Gracenote had 200 million songs registered until 2018, which means an average of 56,000 songs were uploaded each day, or 1 every two minutes. With this in mind, it’s safe to say the number will be way higher than 200 million going into the early to mid-2020s.

In conclusion, it’s safe to assume that there is a growing number of songs being uploaded daily. With so many platforms fighting to have the best and most comprehensive registry, it will be interesting to see where things stand ten years from now.

Brian Clark is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He is passionate about practically all areas of music and he particularly enjoys writing about the music industry.

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