2023 in numbers

Hi everyone,

It happened again! Another year has passed so it is time to show you some statistics about last year’s Freesound activity. As usual, we start by showing some general statistics similar to those shown in previous years’ posts, and at the end we focus on a different aspect of Freesound, which this year has to do with sound ratings. Without further ado, the number of new sounds uploaded during 2023 has been of…

40,940 new sounds!

which corresponds to…

1134 hours of audio!

There have been ~9,000 less uploaded sounds during 2023 when compared to 2022, however, in terms of hours of audio, there have been 70 more hours of audio uploaded. This is most likely due to more field-recordings being uploaded during 2023 (see below), which has increased the average duration of sounds to 100 seconds per sound.

Here is the Creative Commons license distribution of these newly uploaded sounds:

The percentage of CC0 sounds is the same as in 2022, however, the percentage of Attribution NonCommercial sounds has been increased by 5% (in detriment of Attribution sounds). In 2022, we observed that the distribution had shifted a bit in favour of using CC-BY sounds (and in detriment of CC0), but this year we see how the use of CC0 goes back to what it used to be before 2021 and it represents two thirds of the licenses used for new sounds.

With the new additions from 2023, Freesound now currently hosts an amazing total of 616,881 sounds (we surpassed the 600k sounds mark!), for a total audio length of 429 days and 14 hours. Here is the evolution of the total number of sounds since the beginning of Freesound, and the prediction for the future that we made last year:

Following last years trend, the total number of sounds is growing slightly below the prediction. This is not only due to less sounds having been uploaded in 2023, but also because a major contributor of Freesound decided to remove his account and all his sounds (8k sounds πŸ™ ) which all in all results in a significant drop with respect to the expectations. It looks like our earlier predictions of reaching 700k sounds in 2024 will not be possible, but hey, we’re still doing pretty good at capturing the sound of the world!

Here is a tag cloud of the tags of the sounds uploaded during 2023:

“Tag cloud” of the most used tags in 2023

As every year, the usual popular tags don’t change much (field-recording, music, loop, synth, …). We expected to see more field-recording related tags that would explain why the average sound duration was increased but if we look at the numbers we see that the percentage of new sounds with tag field-recording, ambience and ambient is very similar to that of the last year. Therefore the increase of the average duration might not be due to any general trend but to the impact of Philip_Goddard’s 237 hours of uploaded content (split in 251 sounds, roughly 1 hour per sound)! Here are some of the best rated long sounds uploaded this year:

And here is the classic chart of the users who have contributed the most sounds in 2023:

  Username # uploaded sounds   Username uploaded time (hours)
#1 Hewn.Marrow 2961 #1 Philip_Goddard 237
#2 josefpres 1420 #2 twiciasty 54
#3 craigsmith 1023 #3 KevinSonger 46
#4 felix.blume 626 #4 felix.blume 39
#5 klankbeeld 534 #5 klankbeeld 34
#6 CVLTIV8R 465 #6 kevp888 29
#7 DigitalUnderglow 454 #7 mVitalie 20
#8 zuluonedrop2 390 #8 josefpres 19
#9 Timbre 359 #9 JakobGille 12
#10 AlesiaDavina 335 #10 Ambient-X 12
#11 HenKonen 331 #11 christislord 11
#12 deadrobotmusic 312 #12 GregorQuendel 11
#13 ilmari_freesound 301 #13 dibko 9
#14 PNMCarrieRailfan 285 #14 craigsmith 9
#15 laffik 275 #15 TRP 9
#16 Qleq 266 #16 Hewn.Marrow 9
#17 Philip_Goddard 251 #17 tim.kahn 8
#18 kevp888 245 #18 Sadiquecat 7
#19 Erokia 243 #19 Qleq 6
#20 SieuAmThanh 242 #20 ilmari_freesound 6

Thanks everyone (not only those appearing in the table) for all the contributions! It is absolutely incredible to see that many new and high-quality sounds being uploaded every year πŸ™‚

And what about downloads? The number of sound downloads (including packs) during 2023 was…


This is an incredible amount of downloads, even though, again, we recorded slightly lower number compared to the past year. All in all, users have downloaded more than 236M sounds and packs from Freesound!

The term-cloud below shows the most common query terms that have been used when searching in Freesound during 2023:

“Term cloud” of the most used search in 2023

The top 10 terms are the same as in previous years, with slight variations in the ordering: rain, wind, explosion, music, whoosh, footsteps, woosh, click, scream and piano. If we actually combine the whoosh and woosh, that would bring wooshes to the second position, only 10 daily queries below wind.

Now some extra general statistics: In 2023, 15k messages were sent, 1.5k forum posts, were written, 226k sound ratings were made, 41k sound comments were written. These numbers are following last year’s slightly decreasing trend for the number of messages and sounds comments, but are in fact increasing for the number of forum posts and sound ratings. Regarding the forum posts, the growth could probably be attributed to the intense discussions related to the beta testing and release of the new Freesound user interface which happened earlier this year, in October 2023.

To finalise this post, lets show some numbers about sound ratings. If we consider ALL sound ratings from Freesound and count how many ratings of each value (i.e. 1 star, 2 stars,… 5 stars) there are, we obtain a histogram like this:

As you can see, almost 80% of the ratings are either 4 or 5 stars, meaning that Freesound users generally only rate sounds when they like them. This makes us think that we could eventually replace the rating system by a simple “like” button… maybe something for the future? what do you think? Another thing to look at is, how many ratings do individual sounds receive? Well, approximately 52% of the sounds in Freesound have at least 1 rating, and from those which have ratings, the histogram of number of ratings per sound looks like this:

This is quite expected: ~30% of the sounds with ratings only have 1 rating, ~15% have 2 ratings, and the percentage keeps on going down progressively so only the more “famous” sounds will have many ratings. All in all, in 2023 there have been 226k new sound ratings, which is approximately 15% more than the average number of ratings of the previous 3 years. If we look at the number of ratings per month however, we can see that the overall number of ratings has been increased by ~16% during the last two months, right after the introduction of the new UI. We will see if this tendency gets established or this is just a coincidence, but it looks like the new UI encourages more sound ratings, maybe because it maximizes the number of sounds shown on screen, specially in the front page πŸ™‚

That’s it for this year’s post, thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy a 2024 full of sounds!

frederic, on behalf of the Freesound Team

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2 Responses to 2023 in numbers

  1. Pingback: Sound Ledger (Freesound.org Edition) – Disquiet

  2. Pingback: Sustainability report 2023 | The Freesound Blog

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