Independent record labels now represent 38.4% of global recorded music market share in 2016 with global revenues in excess of £6bn

WINTEL 2017 is the second report produced for Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), mapping the global market share of the independent sector at copyright, rather than distribution level.

This new report was commissioned by WIN to analyze the global economic and cultural impact of the independent music sector.

This survey was completed by 660 respondents including labels and distributors from 26 countries and the results represent the most comprehensive assessment of the global independent record label sector ever compiled.

It is important to emphasize that this report once again focusses on the criterion of value based on rights ownership rather than distribution when analyzing market share.

This is a crucial distinction because where independent companies use major labels or companies owned by major labels in various territories around the world to distribute their music, those major labels include the value of revenues derived from the distribution of independently owned rights into the label’s assessment of the majors’ own market share.

The claiming of market share by these international corporations, which currently amounts to $1.2bn of revenue that should be attributed to the independent sector, distorts the true picture of market value.

WINTEL’s analysis by reference to rights ownership therefore provides a much more accurate overview of the marketplace.

The report makes clear that digital music, and streaming continues to create exciting opportunities for independent labels and that in virtually every country, independent labels continue to record higher market share in streaming than they do in physical formats.

Independent label streaming revenues grew by 80.4% in 2016, reaching $2.1 billion, up from $1.2 billion in 2015. This growth was slightly greater than the 78% by which the entire market grew, so independent label market share of streaming revenues increased by 0.6%, up from 39.4% to 40% over the same period.

WINTEL is available in print and online here