Record Union leads calls for DSPs to support independent artists

Record Union leads calls for DSPs to support independent artists

Swedish distributor Record Union has called for greater support for the independent sector on streaming playlists, following its survey of more than 1,000 music creators. 

CEO Johan Svanberg is urging the biz to sign an open letter at independenttag.com calling on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube to acknowledge the sector by creating a tag for indie content on the platforms.

“It would help independent music creators to stand out in a crowd full of major label backed artists and it would also help consumers to actively listen to independent music by choice,” said the company.

The survey of 1,191 customers covered Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the UK and US.

“The results show that independent music creators believe that a major label would restrict their ability to explore lyrical content and innovative musical styles,” said Svanberg. “The [report] also shows that it’s not as important to be signed with a major label today as it is to be featured on a Spotify playlist and a majority of the respondents would like to stay independent if they could.”

It’s not as important to be signed with a major as it is to be featured on a Spotify playlist

Johan Svanberg

DSPs have increasingly voiced their support for new artists as well as introducing label-curated content, while Spotify has opened up playlist consideration to emerging acts. But Svanberg wants to see a greater focus on independent music.

The report found that 69% of independent music creators think that playlist culture favours mainstream music rather than independent artists. Of those surveyed, 34% are concerned about being forced to fit into the current playlist culture.

Record Union's study also found that 74% say that playlist features are important to their careers, but only 22% say that it’s important to be signed by a major record label.

According to the Worldwide Independent Network, the indies’ share of the streaming market is 40%. Digital rights agency Merlin, which represents independent labels, has reported that its members' repertoire has been "over-indexing" on subscription platforms.

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