Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming platforms. Therefore, people’s choice of music and artists can be best analyzed with it. According to Spotify’s metrics, independent artists grew faster, though not everyone grew at the same rate. The rate of independent artists in 2020 went from 29.7% to 31.1%. In addition, BPI reports state that 2020 is the third consecutive year that saw the growth of independent musicians. On a whole, independent musicians make 26% of the industry. Experts consider strong A&R, D2C/ pre-orders, and the sense of community as primary reasons for the growth. Let us look into a few other causes according to experts.
According to the CEO of the Association Of Independent Music, Paul Pacifico, lockdown played a vital role in thegrowth of independent artists. The flexibility and innovation of small businesses are reflected in the independent music businesses as well. Most artists could not release their albums for a long time during the lockdown, to keep up with their artist-centric processes and as they do not have huge cash reserves. However, this helped them to connect with people and market, and find more ways to market. Personal relationships with the audience are more possible for independent musicians than major artists.
Physical sales are an independent musician’s savior. Most independent artists outperform in the OCC- midweeks but get sided as majors’ streaming numbers surge. However, D2C and Love Record Sales, along with a few others, helped independent artists to sign into independent labels. They enabled independent distribution that took them to independent stores. Physical releases impact the official charts.
Independent music is considered to be creative and innovative. According to Paul Pacifico, “independent music businesses are the home of innovation and experimentation in the music industry.” Independent musicians provide the audience the chance to experience something new every time. They let the audience discover varieties and diversity in music. Hence, their growth will continue. According to BPI’s chief executive, Geoff Taylor, independent music is the heart of the music industry. Independent artists provide more choices for the audience. They ensure that the industry flourishes with creativity and newness.
In the UK, independent music constitutes more than 25% of music consumed. However, there is a lot more to be done to bring independent artists and music to the level they deserve. Improving the recommendations and algorithm along with human support can bring changes. Also, a partnership between DSP and independent labels can cause many differences, which need to be prioritized. Although connecting more with the market and physical sales played a vital role in the growth of independent music, independent artists’ urge to bring creative and new music and their search for opportunities and cultural relevance top the reasons.