by India McCarty

These days, it’s easy to find the statistics on your music. Everything is quantified into views, shares and streams, which you can see pretty much as soon as they happen. Charts can still play a role in a song’s radio play, but nowadays, streams have a pretty large hand in a song’s success.

From a business perspective, having all these analytics can be very helpful. You can see who’s listening to what, and then adjust your plans accordingly. Since everything is in a digital form, you can measure the majority of music consumption. However, there are downsides. Numbers can’t tell the whole story behind an artist’s career, and all of these statistics make it way too easy to only see value in the songs that are generating big numbers. This can lead you into the toxic mindset of thinking that the only music worth making is the music that is well-liked.

Something important to remember is just how much music comes out each day. Whether it’s a successful and established artist or a teenager in their bedroom with a ProTools set up, today’s music industry is all about letting anyone make and distribute their songs online. This means that when you release something, you’re competing with thousands of other artists. Good music might not get heard by as many people as you’d like because there’s simply no way for someone to hear everything that gets released. Instead of letting that discourage you, take pride in the streams and downloads that you do have. All of that music to wade through, and people found you!

Another thing to keep in mind is that streams and downloads shouldn’t have any impact on the way you value your music. Sure, they’re important, but they’re not everything. What makes music valuable are things that depend on the individual who’s making it, whether that’s their creativity, their personal stories or the way they craft a song. Try not to pay attention to that part of yourself that values the quantity instead of the quality. If the music you’re making resonates with you, then the music you’re making has value.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a wider audience for your songs, but purely basing your music’s worth on how popular it is can make you go crazy! It can also stunt your musical growth; if you’re so focused on writing something that will be popular, you might lose that creative spark that drives you to make better music. Look past the numbers and you’ll find that calculating the worth of a song is much more complex than just looking at how many streams it has. Don’t get swept up in the statistics! The most important thing to remember is that you are the last and most important judge of whether or not your music has value.


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