according to this report the number of independent labels are increasing their numbers in terms of total music sales (almost 30%), digital downloads, webcasting and satellite radio. Also, independent label artists’ had a great year at the Grammy’s
* Independent labels accounted for 32% of aggregate album sales in 2008, up almost 1.5% from 2007.
* Independent artists won 56 awards at this year’s Grammys, up from 36 last year. That marks over 50% of all prizes given out.
* Independent labels, as a group, are the largest owners of master recordings in the industry – over 80% of America’s music is under independent ownership. These labels aren’t just diverse in genre, but in size and business model, ranging from single-artist-owned labels to imprints with decades of history and catalog. What makes a label “an indie” is that its master recordings are not owned by one of the major labels.
* That overwhelming majority of master recordings is testament to the diversity of genres covered by independent labels. The result is remarkable music that crosses boundaries, and may account for why indies notched the best album Grammy in an incredible 24 different genres in 2009.
*On top internet broadcasting platforms, where consumer choice reigns, indies thrive. Overall, independent music makes up approximately 40% of all music played at non-traditional web radio and at industry leading webcaster Pandora, over half of the music users play is independent.
*Consumer choice reigns at digital retailers as well, and the numbers reflect it, with indie market share at digital rising to 38%. Retailers are on board as well, in fact two-thirds of A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) members have direct deals with iTunes, the industry-leading music retailer.
* In short – when traditional gatekeepers and obstacles to reaching fans are removed, indies thrive.
Image: Statistical distribution of illegal P2P downloads