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DIY artists released 9.5m tracks in 2020 – 8x the major labels


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There are plenty of interesting stats in Will Page’s latest article for the Financial Times, as you’d expect from a former Spotify chief economist. One that stood out for us showed the current scale of DIY artists operating outside the label system.

“As lockdown took hold, major labels released 1.2m songs in 2020; DIY artists released a staggering 9.5m. That’s an 8 to 1 ratio of artists doing it themselves to labels doing it for them,” wrote Page. Note, that’s just the major labels: independent releases are a third category unquantified in the piece.

One of the points the comparison leads to for Page: “Even as the UK considers whether to update music copyright rules, everyone else should be watching this industry as a living demonstration of what happens when barriers to entry fall. The pie definitely grows, but the number of creators wanting a piece of it grows even faster.” The article follows Page’s recent submission to the UK’s music streaming economics inquiry.

Stuart Dredge

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