Independent Labels: The Promising Future of the Music Industry
By Megan Blahnik
Never has there been a better time to be a part of the booming and flourishing small-scale side of the music industry: independent record labels. Beyond being genuinely and thoughtfully invested in what each individual artist envisions, music distributors much like SoundCloud, Ditto Music, CD Baby and others provide global access to work that would otherwise be considered “underground.” Through the properties of effortless streaming, low-key and emerging artists are able to expose their work within seconds to lengths farther than they have yet to travel, all from the comfort of their homes or studios.
The Right Projections
With numbers that used to reveal the minuscule portion of 20% in the music industry, a 2016 study actually exposed that these up-and-coming labels now reflect 37.6% of the global market. For those of you that possess a rusty sense of fraction-making, that add ups to an estimated worth of $5.6 billion. Not bad, right?
Moreover, through signing with independent labels, fresh artists are tapping into the international scene for exposure that is essentially producing at least 37% of the brand’s profit. By neglecting to solely activate the competitive and highly saturated market found in the U.S., labels are spending less on global tours and distribution in foreign countries.
In the industry’s seemingly newly-found, purest form, independent labels have re-birthed the ideal that good music will organically sell itself. Just years ago, major labels had the upper-hand wreaking of connection to radio, TV and all the important mainstream media markets, but times have changed for the big-wigs and they now find themselves on the down slope of the industry. As far as the extension these independent labels are willing to reach, The LA Times referred to this as “running marathons” back in 2015. And, although it can be quite taxing to market and share your artists with foreign countries, it truly seems to be paying off.
What You’re Getting
Everything from social media management, vinyl development, organization of day-to-day and long-term visions, photography, pending partnerships, touring details and more is covered under the loving embrace of an independent label. Although indie labels historically have lacked the type of exposure given by big name, fortune-funded record labels, they make up for this in realism and accessibility and now even the exposure gap is closing.
So, as a testament to how happy we are with our status as an indie label, Underground Sun is here to stay thanks to these very ideals that define us in this wildly exciting time of music sharing.