Independent record labels have a 38.4% share on the industry based on rights ownership, producing global revenue of $6 billion in 2016. That’s the top-line finding from the Worldwide Independent Network’s annual report on the financial state for indie music. Mark Mulligan of MIDiA Research authored the report, based on a survey of 660 labels and distributors. The global share rose 0.9% from 2015, and the revenue total is a 6.9% spike from the previous year.
Streaming had a positive impact on the sector, with digital outlets offering opportunities to the indie music industry. According to WIN, “virtually every country” reported that indie labels are recording higher market share in streaming than they do in physical formats. Revenue from streaming reached $2.1 billion in 2016, up 80.4% from the previous year. The market share for indies in streaming also edged up 0.6% to 40%.
The report highlighted a recent shift in what is classified as “independent,” especially as the major labels and their distributors make acquisitions in the space. According to the survey, $1.2 billion in independent label revenue was distributed by a major or a major-owned operation.
The report also looked at some country-specific data. South Korea had the largest share secured by indies at 89%, while Spain’s was the smallest at 15%. The United States showed the largest increase in share, up 1.7% to 37.3%.