Streaming services like Apple Music fueling rise of indies, industry groups say

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Even if their artists have to work hard just to make a living, independent record labels are doing better in 2019 thanks to streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora, which are encouraging people to try music beyond mainstream tastes, reports say.

Artists like Kammarheit benefit from the discovery features of streaming services.
Artists like Kammarheit benefit from the discovery features of streaming services.


Of over 2,000 labels belonging to Merlin, a group representing indies, 85% said they were optimistic about the future of their business in a June membership survey, according to CNET. The site noted that indie streaming revenues grew 46% in 2017, helping them to push overall revenue up 11.3% to $6.9 billion, as seen in Worldwide Independent Network data. That outpaced the rest of the market, which grew 10.2%. Indies are now said to account for about 39.9% of the industry, double a figure from two decades ago.

"If there's one thing that streaming has done for sure, it's created a new independent music industry," commented Symphonic Distribution CEO Jorge Brea. His firm is credited with distributing music by the likes of Deadmau5 and Waka Flocka Flame.

More concretely, a Rolling Stone study found that major artists have seen their share of streams drop during the last three years, and in 2018, 98% of the growth in U.S. streaming came from songs that never cracked the top 500 in charts.

Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora alike have a strong emphasis on discovery, whether through curated or algorithmic playlists. This serves a dual purpose, not only tailoring playback to listener tastes but making it worthwhile for labels to sign up for distribution.

Last Thursday, Apple VP Eddy Cue revealed that Apple Music recently cracked 60 million paid subscribers. That still pales next to the 100 million Spotify achieved in April, and an even larger segment of people on that service's free ad-based tier.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Great news, streaming seems to be affecting the music industry the same way as podcasting/YouTube has been able to losen the stranglehold of establishment industries. Choice is good, and the ability for these independent artist to reach their audience without having to navigate the decades old system is even better.
    jahblade
  • Reply 2 of 8
    jahbladejahblade Posts: 147member
    "streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora, which are encouraging people to try music beyond mainstream tastes" I couldn't agree more!!
  • Reply 3 of 8
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 901member
    you. would never guess it looking at the start page of the iTunes Store. 
  • Reply 4 of 8
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 973member
    spice-boy said:
    you. would never guess it looking at the start page of the iTunes Store. 
    iTunes and Apple Music are two different animals. People buying music are not always as open to paying cash for a new artist depending on the genre. On the other hand streamers that pay one price for unlimited music will experiment more. 
    uraharamdriftmeyer
  • Reply 5 of 8
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 387member
    I found a lot of new artists that I would not have normally found if it were not for Apple Music, so for that, I am thankful!
  • Reply 6 of 8
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,109member
    spice-boy said:
    you. would never guess it looking at the start page of the iTunes Store. 
    If that’s the only place you’re looking for new music, you’re doing it wrong. 
  • Reply 7 of 8
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,407unconfirmed, member
    Originally we thought Apple Music would be like the App Store where people could self publish and upload as they pleased. This would have been much nicer.

    On further thought, this could have been a double edged sword as we see garbage and joke songs flood YouTube BUT they still bring in millions of listeners. Revenue is revenue. I believe self-published artist would have taken Apple Music more seriously as the platform would have been more competitive than a platform that has 3 second joke videos, horrible animations and pointless uploads.

    Digressing further: Youtube is facing terrible backlash at the moment and viewers/creators don't know where to go. Apple join this space now! And take over both Youtube and Facebook.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    mobirdmobird Posts: 228member
    I have been doing a little tinkering keeping the exact Album/Artist on Music and on Tidal, with around 1,000 album titles. I have discovered so many new artist/albums with Tidal's "suggested new albums" and "because you listened to" features. Music does not begin to compare with recommendations that I might be interested in. I really want to like and use Music on an exclusive basis for numerous reasons but it comes up short in so many ways.
    One artist that was never recommended on Music that is one of my very favorites is J.S. Ondara, "Tales of America". Give it a listen, his BIO is quite interesting as well.
    edited July 1
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