Numbers vs impact in the digital distribution music industry.

The unending warfare between numbers and impact in the role of musician's success and music arts.
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Principally from the perspective of a music artist they will quickly tell you the pivotal elements in their careers is getting the desired numbers and of course a huge impact on the mass [could be influence in lifestyle or cultures] We can rest on the past glories of songs that have been able to out live their era and still appearing somehow relevant in this modern music era, especially Makossa in Cameroon.

Even before music arts could transit from the analogue carriers to the present day digital listening formats, figures played a vital role in qualifying singles and albums, mixtapes via radio charts play listing , record sales, billboards count downs or music lovers and fans physically appearing at venues of concerts or shows of their artists especially for ticket purchasing.

Today it’s very easy getting apt statistics about the music universe and numbers are given more value since its incorporated to almost everything thing in the chain of digital distribution of music. Wether deriving stats from streaming platforms, engagements on social media handles, music enthusiasts [fans] are frequently barraged with data designed to measure musical traction vis a vis the music artists themselves are on the look out for these data.

It’s a refreshing feeling for every artist to get high numbers on their arts popping up and it’s logical they pay close attention to this data, however it will be fatal for an artist to use these statistics as a measuring rod to impact confidence, creativity or objectivity – it will be a very slippery slope for the music career. There’s a virtual part of numbers same as the physical has a role to play, it’s important to take into consideration these figures in it’s entirety.


Psychologically numbers play on consumption habit of the mass and serves as a trigger for algorithms. In a typical conventional mindset every listener measures an artist’s success if the song in question has high streams or has been playlisted so many times. There’s this natural pull factor about high numbers bringing more numbers since the song is considered a “good song” based on the high streams. The dangers in concentrating on numbers and streams more or less fucks up creativity and in the longrun serves as a constant distraction which blows you off course from actually making real music.

There’s this misconception today about numbers in music serving as an indicator to status, many music artists are trapped in their overwhelming desires to boost streaming and social media platforms. Not that it’s a bad strategy however but this might push you to shy away from making real music for listeners by diving deep into believing the success of your music and creativity is determined by the rise and dropping of your numbers. On a personal note the main drive of a musician is in making genuine music , one that is authentic from core but it’s proper not to equally question’ the various reasons why people venture into being musicians.

One thing that is sure obvious and realistic is that an artist’s potentials and value can’t only be limited to streams, sales, social media engagements and followers. There’s this side of IMPACT which is gradually going obsolete and fading away, the principal objective is striving to see how many people your music can reach or touch and by this [ is actually identifying a fan base or group of people who have been influenced by your music into changing lifestyles or relating to your ideologies buried in your music]

Already it’s a flawed narrative believing the success and value of a song is determined by high streams to the detriment of a song with less streams ad perceived to be of lower value or unsuccessful, with that conventional thinking it’s a big MISS! Music value can’t but narrowed to that but there is a myriad if human factors that are interwoven to each and are essential, like a identifiable fan base , how arts responds to algorithms and how trends affect the consumption habit of music either as a pull factor or push factor.

It’s a complex world of music consumption, there’s the possibility of doing everything on point and it still ends in a unsuccessful as far as generating statistics that actually projects a reasonable amount of people consuming your music. Many artists are in the category of releasing music without an identifiable fanbase to listen to it hence not many people really pay attention or listen to it. Conventional success in music is reasonable for, using numbers as a measuring rod might affect you and your music to an extend especially when you don’t get the desired numbers frustrations sets in or simply being unable to outbeat your previous stream data.


In an artist’s career making music is priority we all agree, then there’s also the other side where every other thing fall in place. For a fact we can’t avoid music related statistics in this digital distribution of of music era, even the numbers are what event organizers want to see, it’s what fetches the award nominations, it’s what gets bookings for shows and concerts, it’s what gets endorsement and brand ambassadorial deals it’s equally portant for artists to stick to their creative decisions and creating music for the sake of authenticity.

When aspects like creativity, tenacity and the talent shape your music arts more than the constant desire to get these numbers – music connection to a mass with an identifiable fan base will be inevitable. It should be born by creative merits into securing a spot for yourself and your arts especially in impacting listeners for generations unending.

Music is more competitive now than the yesteryears , which it simple sense means that artists who are able to produce something genuinely interesting and unique are able to best connect with audiences. Making good music isn’t easy, and most of us will need to devote all the time and creative energy we can to come up with engaging ideas.

The scale between wanting to be conventionally successful and creatively focused is something tough to place your hand on, it varies for every musician. In order to clearly map out your career trajectory it’s important to question yourself about the creative choices you make in your songwriting. If you’re more motivated by making music that gets your numbers up than the desire to create great music, it’s time to rethink your priorities.

Now practically speaking in as much as it’s becoming a little recurrent that Jovi pops up most of the time in subject matters like this it’s simply because he’s one of the very few who have understood that music is a mind game between numbers and impact and all move along together. After figuring out his creative direction’ of his essence as a music artist, everything has been falling in place accordingly. He’s music generates the desired traction both online and offline and it’s pellucid and transparent especially when talking numbers: there’s a direct link to the virtual fan base to that of the physical. Then the impact on the mass itself is huge with two comlunuties ie French and English relating to your music pieces and mastering.

It’s always a namaste moment for every artist to be on stage for a concert and the audience sing along, your equally measure that same impact and numbers from tickets sales, turn up for your gigs, merch sales with actual realistic data. That’s however the artistic direction he choses to evolve on and it’s been working for him.

Then there are equally other artists like Ko-c who believe in numbers, the priority might not be so much on the impact but on getting the streams because of what their artistic direction states. Understanding these numbers will fetch deals, awards or nominations, deals in all forms, possible collaborations with international acts and of course it has a way of adding value to the brand name.

It might be a major setback for an artist who doesn’t really master this pattern since you will need to do everything to keep those numbers upping even if it means PURCHASING VIEWS, it’s part of the music business model. But the danger is not in drowing in these plastic data that you tend to toss tenacity and creativity away from the dice board.

Numbers pull more numbers, just like streams can’t determine music success or value awards too don’t necessarily portray the best of music acts today. It’s just a series of the aspects that go into securing the bag in the music business.

You will be shocked to know Indira Baboke a typical gospel artist has the most streamed album in Cameroon as of 2021 data. Surprising to you not much of her music pieces are played or being chanted by a fanbase you can pinpoint but the streams on platforms is doing the magic.

It’s important for every artist venturing into music have a clue of what they are going to dwell on but sticking to the priority of making music which mostly rests on the creative decision will be adviceable , this is in making your music relatability more achievable and impact obvious. The results are always better when it’s organic, it defines the true value of music, but welcome to the new music World were people sing trash to secure the bag, convention thinking of narrowing music value and success to numbers.

It’s a mindgame, the choice is yours. Now we had the baton over to you whare with us your thoughts in the comment section below.


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