Apple Music launched in 2015, with a catalogue of 30 million songs from artists worldwide, with over 20,000 singers and songwriters delivering new songs to Apple Music every day. Today, there are now 100 million songs on Apple Music.
Apple Music says the milestone cements it as the world’s largest catalogue of music, more than YouTube Music’s 80 million songs, Spotify’s 82 million tracks and podcasts, and Amazon Music’s 90 million songs.
Apple Music’s global head of editorial Rachel Newman stated:
Twenty-one years on from the invention of iTunes and the debut of the original iPod, we’ve gone from 1,000 songs in your pocket to 100,000x that on Apple Music. It’s phenomenal growth by any metric. The entire history, present, and future of music is at your fingertips or voice command.
Back in the 1960s, only 5,000 new albums were released each year. Today, anywhere in the world, in 167 countries and regions on Apple Music, any artist of any description can write and record a song and release it globally. Every day, over 20,000 singers and songwriters are delivering new songs to Apple Music — songs that make our catalogue even better than it was the day before. One hundred million songs is evidence of a more democratic space, where anyone, even a new artist making music out of their bedroom, can have the next big hit.
Apple says its customers are not just listening to whatever’s new; they’re exploring back catalogues of artists.
In 2015, when Apple Music launched, the top 1,000 songs made up 20% of the plays. Now they make up 10%. The average song’s release date is from March 7, 2017, a number pulled down by listeners going back in time.
This isn’t just an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, but also a moment to look forward to the work we have left to do. At Apple Music, human curation has always been the core to everything we do, both in ways you can see, like our editorial playlists; and ways you can’t, like the human touch that drives our recommendation algorithms. Now more than ever, we know that investment in human curation will be key in making us the very best at connecting artists and audiences.
With such a huge expanse of songs, we know you need someone there to guide you through. Gone are the days of hitting shuffle on your library: Now it’s on us to help you discover new favourites and rediscover forgotten gems, whether it’s one of our expert radio hosts lighting your path, or a handcrafted playlist.
Apple Music has launched a new series, ‘Apple Music Today’, which explores the history of a new track every day, starting with Sinead O’Connor’s mega-hit ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.
We also know that it’s more important than ever that we are elevating artists’ voices and providing opportunities for them to tell their own stories and contextualize their music. It is no longer enough to just connect artists and fans, it’s about making those connections deeper and more meaningful.