The kind of creative control, DIY mentality, and tightly-knit scenes that exist in indie don’t always flourish in the mainstream environment as they do in the world of indie. Despite the growing popularity of indie aesthetics and the ability to quickly, cheaply, and easily reach a larger audience (thanks to the Internet), the battle between the ever dominant major labels is still present. However, now more than ever we are seeing an increased awareness and popularity of independently produced music thanks to blogs, social media, apps and online music communities.
Indie can also describe a music genre such as indie rock, indie folk, or indie pop.
The Indie Game: Indie VS Major
Independent Music (Indie Music / Indie) is music that is indpendently produced from major commercial record labels or their subsidiaries.
3 Labels are known as Majors as of 2012
- Sony Music Entertainment
- Universal Music Group
- Warner Music Group
Major labels are owned by a parent company, like Sony. Whereas, Indie record labels DO NOT have a corporate backer.
20% while impressive, consider the number of indepedent labels.
There are THOUSANDS compared to the major three which control the other 70% of the world’s music market.
Did You Know? The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), famous as the organization behind the Grammy Awards, began in the 1950s as an organization of 25 Independent Record Labels including Herald and Ember Records, and Atlantic Records.
It’s Hard Out Here For An Indie
- Within the music industry, most recording artists have become increasingly reliant upon record labels to:
- Broaden their consumer base
- Market their albums
- Be both promoted and heard on digital download, radio, and television
The Internet Has Increasingly Been A Way That Some Artists Avoid Costs And Gain New Audiences
Online outlets for a musician include:
- A regularly updated website or blog.
- Frequent use of social media like twitter and facebook.
- Joining an online music community like Youtube, SoundCloud and Bandcamp.
Wait, Where’s My Money?
Three ways artists can make money in today’s music business are:
- Music Publishing
- Selling Music Online
- Performing Live
An Indie Artist Requires 4 Million Online Plays To Make $1,160 (minimum wage) in one month
Larger companies are going to start realizing that a lot of music independent artists are creating is of the same quality of the “majors” and much more diverse. This will help artists get more placements for their music and most likely help the business as well as by giving them a taste of new diverse music.
Better Get My Music Online
Streaming music was up 24% to nearly 51 billion streams in the first six months of 2013
Video also has a strong role in the streaming game, the most popular track in 2013 was Harlem Shake, by indie producer baauer. In 6 months, it was streamed 438 million times.
Also Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ single “Thrift Shop” reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 10 chart in 2013. It was the first time since 1994 (Lisa Loeb’s “Stay”) that a song topped the Hot 100 chart without the support of a major record label.