It's No Longer A Major Label World

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If there was still any doubt in your mind that you didn't need to be signed to a major label in order to succeed in the music industry, wonder no longer, as new data reveals just how much of market share indies have gained in recent years.

Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

If you thought that you needed to sign with a major record label or publisher in order to have success, that’s no longer true and there’s a lot of data to prove it. No metric is more valuable in seeing this picture as market share. Indies have made great strides in this area in recent years and continue to do so. Let’s take a look:

Record LabelPhysical ProductDigital ProductPhysical/Digital
Universal23.4%32.4%29.8%
Sony19.220.219.9
Warners13.417.716.5
Independents44.029.733.8


The big takeaway here is how well the indies stack up against the majors. When it comes to physical product, the indies are way ahead, and when it comes to total product they are as well.

Something similar happens with publishing.

 20172018Change
Sony27.3%26.0%-1.3%
Universal Publishing19.520.20.7
Warner Chappell12.012.30.3
Independents41.241.40.2


Once again, the indies are way ahead of the major publishers and its’ not even close.

This goes to show that everything in the music industry has been turned on its head. A decade ago and for nearly 100 years, the major labels and publishers dominated the industry. Today indies have a major share of the industry, and while no single company is as strong as a major (yet), they are as a group.

Artists and songwriters are leery of major corporations in general, and that’s who run the major labels and publishers. They know that the majors have shareholder interests in mind more than theirs. It’s also now a safer bet to sign with a indie, since success is no longer a long shot by going down that path.

The data was compiled by the Music & Copyright Blog.

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