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Indie Labels Represent Over A Third Of Global Recorded Music Market
Independent record labels now represent 38.4% of global recorded music market share in 2016 with global revenues in excess of $6bn
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2017-10-26
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WINTEL 2017 is the second report produced for Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), mapping the global market share of the independent sector at copyright, rather than distribution level. This survey was completed by 660 respondents including labels and distributors from 26 countries and the results represent the most comprehensive assessment of the global independent record label sector ever compiled.

Key findings from this research include the fact that, based on rights ownership, the global market share of independent record labels has increased since 2015 by 0.9% to 38.4%, representing global revenues of $6billion in 2016. This is an increase of 6.9% on the previous 12 months.

Although global independent label market share increased by 0.9% to 38.4%, changes at country level were as diverse as the market share picture itself.

The US saw the largest single swing in favour of independents, increasing 1.7% to 37.3%. South Korean independents further increased
their grip on the Korean market,
with strong results from leading independents resulting in total market share growth of 0.6% up to 89.1%.

The independent share declined slightly in Japan, down 0.3% to 63.3%, with a number of leading local companies registering significant revenue losses in 2016.

Many European markets, including key territories such as the UK
 and Germany, saw independent market share fall slightly, despite overall revenue growth.

The report makes clear that digital music, and streaming in particular, continues to create exciting opportunities for independent labels and that in virtually every country, independent labels continue to record higher market share in streaming than they do in physical formats.

It is entirely down to streaming that the global recorded music market enjoyed its second consecutive year of growth (5.9%) in 2016. Prior to 2015 it had endured 15 years of decline.

Measured in isolation, streaming grew 60.4% in 2016. It now accounts for 59% of all digital revenues, whilst digital as a whole now accounts
for 50% of the total market.

Independent label streaming revenues grew by 80.4% in 2016, reaching $2.1 billion, up from $1.2 billion in 2015. This growth was slightly greater than the 78% by which the entire market grew, so independent label market share of streaming revenues increased by 0.6%, up from 39.4% to 40% over the same period.


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