Tables are turning very fast in the music industry. Before, it was difficult to “break” as an artist without major-label support but things have changed. Independent artists are now effectively building sustainable music careers, maintaining and pursuing their unique vision for their journeys.
But not only that. Independent musicians are the fastest-growing segment of the global recorded music business. A new report from MIDiA Research says independent artists generated more than $ $2.1 billion in 2020, a 41.5% jump from the year before.
This is an unprecedented time for independent artists, but one that holds a lot of promise and confidence. A time where they can still maintain their rights, control their career, and make it into the charts/popular playlist, or perform at that major festival.
It was previously stated that independent artists today do not necessarily need record label structures to succeed in the music industry. But why?
How Technology Helps Independent Artists
Indie artists will now have more cost-efficient ways to promote their work, all thanks to the fast-paced technology.
From streaming music platforms to free online music promotions, artists can derive income that accrues over time; and with this, they are capable of financing future projects. Nowadays, there are multiple revenue streams for independent artists; they include merchandising, royalties, touring, and live appearances.
Distributing one’s music through digital aggregators is just one part of the whole process. Time management, self-branding, networking, and effective social media usage are equally essential aspects that must be taken into cognizance.
Today’s independent artists have to find the best places to promote music and market themselves on social media in this technological environment. Much of this entails influence marketing, constant interaction with the audience, paying close attention to analytics, algorithms, and understanding how these tools work.
It includes self-education, learning, and mastering creative skills like basic recording, video, and graphics editing. Today, musicians need finances to pay for services like link videos, ad promotions, and high-quality graphics. Networking is an important part of the game, which can sometimes be more valuable than spending actual money.
To this effect, independent musicians should be able to build and sustain long-term relationships with influential journalists and bloggers who can get one's music in front of the right audiences.
Why Indie Music Is The Industry’s Future
Signing with a label company means that you would have to relinquish a level of creative control over your music creation. All labels will want to get as involved as possible to nudge the artist’s music in their desired direction.
On the other hand, this is not an issue with independent artists since they can concentrate on making their own sound without considering other factors. This way, they can let their own creative touch flourish through their music.
Potential to Earn More
The conception that independent musicians and indie artists cannot sustain themselves no longer holds water. Because back in 2019, independent artists generated over $1 billion in revenue.
However, label companies would take a huge chunk of those profits if an artist is working with them.
Independent artists get to keep full publishing royalties from the tracks, which can be a sizable amount depending on how successful the artist is.
Own the Rights to Your Work
Record labels tend to own the rights to a musician’s work, which has created many problems in the past. Big-name musicians have been known to suffer from this and have been entangled in public debates about owning the rights to their recordings.
This will not be an issue to worry about if you are working as an independent artist. Just like with the money you get, the same goes for the right. You will receive 100% of the royalties and rights to your creations.
Work At Your Own Pace
It is natural for artists to take time off to rejuvenate and get their artistic juices flowing. Often, musicians tend to take long breaks after years of active work.
Label companies tend to put heavy schedules on musicians which can often lead to them burning out. This cycle of recording and touring can have its toll on any creative mind.
Independent musicians do not have to worry about this as they are the master of their own music. They can create and release music as they please without worrying about a label telling them to do so.
Independent artists are taking over the music industry from relaxing to making music at your own pace and the financial and rights to your creations.
Why Is This Happening Now?
The answer is because of the internet. It has revolutionized the way people discover new music - removing many of the traditional barriers that smaller, DIY artists used to face.
Different technologies such as streaming, sharing, music promotion platforms, e-commerce, and social media offer independent artists increased chances of exposing their musical creations to bigger audiences.
Before, music discovery was governed from the top down. Record labels would decide who to sign and then they would market them. The next step will be sending them to the radio for the world to hear.
And now, the music industry is just increasingly reactive to fans' discoveries. So, the equation has flipped, which is great for the industry.
It has been reported that hundreds of thousands of new songs are being uploaded to various music streaming platforms nowadays. And that figure is expected to increase as artists become more aware of how easy it is to release their own music.
Independent music is very important and it is growing and growing every year. This represents the fact that you do not need an expensive studio to make good music - and that you can be yourself, and people will accept you for that.
Platforms like TikTok and Twitch allow you to experiment and get real-time feedback. Many musicians have found success by uploading demos and unfinished songs, then putting their full resources behind the ones their fans seem to connect with the most.
It does not come as a surprise that the evolution of the internet has completely changed the entire music industry for good, of course.