Independent label network Merlin has seen its earnings from Latin America increase five-fold in the past three years. Based on current growth rates, Merlin’s 2018 revenue from Latin America are projected to exceed $60 million.
Streaming appears to be a key driver of that international growth. The most recent Merlin membership survey showed that 42% of independent labels reported more than half of their digital revenue stemming from outside their home country. Two-thirds of Merlin members said that audio streaming represents the bulk of their digital revenue.
“Merlin’s independent record label members already occupy a unique position on streaming services, with their repertoire consistently over-indexing on subscription tiers compared to free ad-supported ones. Users of these services deeply engage with Merlin members’ music, and are willing to pay for it,” CEO Charles Caldas said. “We now have irrefutable evidence that the new dynamics of streaming are opening up previously inaccessible territories to independent music, with a phenomenal consumption surge in Latin America and across Asia. What feels particularly exciting is that we’re only at the start of this growth trajectory – and with potential of relatively untapped markets, including China, Russia and Africa, still to be realised.”