It’s been rough rule of thumb in recent years that the market share between major and independent labels is a rough two thirds to one third split – but all is not quite as it seems, according to a new report by Midia, which says it undertook a “large-scale, global survey of independent labels, collecting billions of dollars’ worth of revenue figures,” to find a new perspective on the revenue contribution of independents.
Its conclusion is that the current distribution system obfuscates the true picture, and that global independent label revenue is 9% higher than previously thought when considered on a “label ownership basis” – i.e. who holds the copyright, not who distributes it. Midia says that the majors’ previously-calculated market share of 66.1% is inflated by the revenue of independent labels which use the digital distribution platforms that are owned by majors (and is thus then reported in majors’ accounts).
On this “ownership” basis, Midia has pegged the independent (and artist direct) market share at 43.1%. That equates to an additional $2.1 billion that, under this basis, is on the indie side of the table. It’s not “new” money, but it could be considered a meaningful clarification – or seen as proof of a power creep towards the indie sector.