When Kim Kream talked about an independent artist’s state in the South Korean music industry, he explained that the main reason why indie artists have shifted to an “alternate” realm is due to the lack of promotion by their agencies which in turn expose them to fewer opportunities.
While the singer talked only about his personal circumstance, the issue is faced by majority of indie artists across the globe. For past 20 years, CD Baby has been trying to change the fate of such artists by helping them distribute their music and monetize to accelerate their growth in the industry.
Last year, the distribution network added about 1 million digital tracks. Also, through CD Baby, artists earned around $80 million payout on a catalog of more than 9 million digital tracks.
Turns out, platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud play a huge in popularising indie music. In just few years, Spotify has successfully spread its influence amongst artists who are collaborating with the platform to not only place their singles on the playlist but also to release platform original, available specifically to service’s users.
“Just six years ago, iTunes downloads were the main source of sales revenue for our artists,” explains Kevin Breuner, VP of marketing at CD Baby. “Now, large amounts of money are generated by streams on Spotify and Apple Music. With this shift, we’ve seen revenue increase dramatically. The overall pie is growing, and indie musicians are getting their slices.”
CD Baby’s growth, as evident from the numbers, show a promising picture. For artists who prefer to work with freedom rather than following the instructions laid out by labels, streaming platforms offer a huge opportunity. It will be interesting to see how the number improves by the end of 2018.