Correction: The math that Cloud Storage Buzz used to come up with its calculations for how big Spotify would be in the real world does not add up, so neither do any of its conclusions. We regret the error in publishing this story.
Music streaming’s got a knack, it seems, for skyrocketing artists’ careers. Apple Music’s exclusive deal with Chance the Rapper landed the rapper a history-making Grammy win; Future’s prolific album-dropping on multiple streaming services led him to pull off an unprecedented feat in the charts. Yet a moment of appreciation is due for the sheer amount of music available on streaming—the vast majority of which never has a chance to climb into the Top 40, or make it into globally popular playlists, or perhaps even be heard by a significantly sized audience at all. Spotify and Apple Music both boast catalogs of roughly 30 million songs. How big is that? According to trade publication Cloud Storage Buzz, if those 30 million songs accessed by the service’s 100 million users were translated into physical CDs in a brick-and-mortar record store, they’d take up 64,053 sq miles—more than half the size of Britain (80,823 sq miles), or about a third the size of California (163,696 sq miles). Another way to see it: Spotify as a physical store is bigger than 100 different countries in the world. For the analysis, Cloud Storage Buzz worked out the rack depth, rack length, aisle width, aisle area, and square footage of a hypothetical record store to house all of Spotify’s 2.5 million albums, and then determined how large it’d have to be to hold a copy of each album for each of the service’s 100 million listeners. (The 100 million figure is from a year ago; Spotify now has 50 million paying subscribers, so its overall user base—given that subscribers are only about a third of its listeners—is likely even bigger now.) Happy browsing.