As the popularity of streaming services continues to increase, major labels have increasingly less access to defining and funneling music discovery. The tipping of the scales has resulted in more exposure for indie artists – a welcome shift that has kept the spotlight on independent music. According to 2014’s year-end Nielsen Music statistics, the added attention has resulted in indie artists increasing their market share from 34.6% in 2013 to 35.1% in 2014, once again, gaining more sales than any other major label group.
Tim Westergreen, founder of Pandora, hopes independent artists to see Pandora as a level playing field. Currently, 50% of the streaming service’s content is that of independent musicans. Westergreen told the New York Post, “There are artists who were invisible in the music business who now get exposed to an audience that is big enough to support them. There’s an opportunity for a really well-run band to take control of their careers.”
The results are in and they reflect an upside to the ever-ridiculed act of music streaming – for indie artists and labels, that is.