"Doom and gloom hasn't been borne out": WIN CEO Alison Wenham on how the indie world is handling streaming

WIN CEO Alison Wenham has told Music Week that the “doom and gloom” surrounding streaming and the independent sector was unfounded. 

Speaking as part of Music Week’s Indies Roundtable, conducted earlier this month at AIM’s Indie-Con event, Wenham said: “With streaming, companies with huge catalogues probably focus [more] on marketing them, so that leaves a massive hole in A&R, which is the heartland of the independent sector. There was lots of doom and gloom but it hasn’t borne out. For example, Merlin reported earnings of over £1m from Peru in 2015.”

Ineke Daans, live strategy manager at PIAS, added that “indies have always engaged well with streaming”, while Transgressive Records co-founder Tim Dellow highlighted the importance of passion in the sector. “There are more and more great artists on good deals with people who care about them,” he said. “And they understand it’s not just about taking a cheque and moving to a major, you can stay with those people, make more money and do better business. That’s an exciting democratising part of the business in which streaming is definitely a factor.”

PledgeMusic’s Mike Hemsley – who along with Secretly Group’s Michelle Kambasha, completed the line-up of panellists – added that the rise of streaming means physical content is now “almost seen as merchandise”.

He said: “I’ve had conversations with unsigned artists who say they don’t see the point of making a CD if everyone’s going to stream it anyway. A huge portion of every fanbase still wants something physical.”

Read the full discussion – which takes in radio, breaking new talent and picks apart the success of independent acts Bon Iver and Christine & The Queens – in the new issue of Music Week, onsale now. To read the feature online, click here.

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