It can be a massive letdown to pour everything into your music and find out that hardly anyone is listening. High streaming numbers of your song may show that it’s good and people like it. However, does a low amount of streams mean a song or album isn’t very good? Well, no, actually. This overly simplistic way of judging music’s value is inaccurate and damaging because many music-makers and fans believe it.
Numbers can’t tell the whole story about how your music is doing. Low streaming counts can offer insights about the people who aren’t in the know of your music yet. This is a simple concept, but things get murky when interpreting what high streaming counts mean. For one, lone listeners or even bots often rack up streaming numbers for specific artists. Basing a release or artist’s value purely off of streams doesn’t work, and fixating on the numbers won’t help you as a developing artist. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about seeing your streams increase when people discover your music. However, if streams are the only metric you judge your worth by, it can lead to frustration and disappointment.
Where a song’s value comes from
If you’re a professional songwriter, you might judge the value of your songs based on its revenue. Or, you might never share your songs with another soul. Either way, you decide how you perceive the value of your music. This may include external factors or opinions that may influence how you view your music. Streaming counts fall into this category, alongside metrics like reviews, money, popularity, etc. These are crucial stats to gain insights to your success as a musician.
The trouble lies in unestablished musicians getting caught up in a numbers game. It might even lead them to prioritize boosting their streams over honing their craft. Aside from the money associated with streams, streams are essentially imaginary internet points. Write music with the main intention of racking up streams, and you’re missing the point in a big way.
Songwriting is an uncertain game. While you can get better at it, not every musician achieves conventional success to show for their work. However, if you put your passion and curiosity first, you’ll have everything you need to create and explore music for as long as you want to.