Independent musicians are taking over the music industry
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The advent of technology has empowered independent musicians to build their careers without major label backing and it’s driving transformational change throughout the music industry.
The greatest benefit of being an independent musician is not having to abide by the artistic, political and social constraints that come with being a signed act and more small-town artists are starting to take note of the benefits of freedom in the music world.
Take Grammy award-winner Chance The Rapper, for example. He refuses to sign a record label and uses his success to urge other musicians to do the same, earning him the title as poster boy of the independent music scene.
A 2020 independent artist survey conducted by MIDiA reports that independent musicians are now the fastest-growing segment of the global recorded music business.
Established in their own right, the once-stereotyped bedroom jam part-time musician generated more than £483 million in 2019, signalling seismic changes to the business of music.
Where social media has given indie artists the same tools and techniques as their more mainstream counterparts to succeed in the music world, the mindset of the independent musician has shifted.
Now, the empowerment of retaining creative control over music means that artists no longer see label support as the road to success.
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That’s not to say that the industry isn’t (still) controlled by gatekeeper class.
The press, bookers and labels play a leading role in the growth of an artist’s career in terms of holding the key to opportunities which can accelerate success in the music industry, despite a new found ability to create traction as an artist themselves.
What it does say though is that independent musicians are both the present and the future of the music industry.
They represent the future of label artists and major labels must now embrace non-conventional deals to satisfy the demands of the next generation of artists.