We covered the launch of the IFPI’s latest Global Music Report yesterday, and the official figures showing that global recorded music revenues grew by 8.2% to $20.2bn in 2019 – the biggest total since 2004. Now the analysis is continuing of what the figures tell us about trends in the market.

Midia Research, which put out its own (higher) estimates for the global recorded music market earlier this year, has already drawn one conclusion: “independents and artists direct strongly outperformed the majors in 2019” in streaming. That’s based on its calculations that major labels’ streaming revenues grew by 22%, but independent labels’ grew by 38% while artists outside the label system grew theirs by 42%.

“The independents’ global share of streaming revenue increased by five whole points from 36% to 41%,” is Midia’s conclusion.  “If they were to add another five points of share in 2020 and in 2021, like they did in 2019, then independents would be just short of representing half of the entire streaming market. That would be a genuine paradigm shift, the clear announcement of a newly aligned music business.”

There are likely some arguments still to have here around methodologies – Midia says that the gap between the IFPI’s figure of $11.2bn of streaming revenues in 2019 and its own estimate of $11.9bn is down to the former not including Pandora ad-supported revenues, which we’ve yet to get the IFPI’s confirmation of.

Another long-running debate concerns how you measure ‘independent’ revenues, in a world where some of the biggest distributors used by independent artists and labels are owned by major labels. Global indie body WIN’s last Wintel report, published in December 2018, estimated that 22.4% of independent revenue was distributed by the majors at that time.

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