Written by: Roshan Dwivedi
Of late, music streaming services have mushroomed all over the web. Spotify alone has hit 60 million users by July 2017, and is expected to add another 10 million by the end of the year.
There are loads of artists who are trying to make ends meet as they don’t earn much because of policies in favor of big players in the streaming industry. Various independent groups and organizations are trying to resolve this issue by coming up with their own music streaming service.
Days are getting sunnier for artists who have licensed their music to independent labels, since they are now getting what they deserve.
However, some artists are under stress since their music is being illegitimately distributed and streamed without being monetarily compensated for.
Even big artists are not comfortable collaborating with big brands such as Spotify, Apple Music, and the likes and hence are looking to venture out on their own. We can take the instance of Taylor Swift who removed her music from Spotify and has been actively working on launching her own streaming platform. For someone like Taylor Swift who has given so many chartbusters over time, the compensation just wasn’t decent enough.
Although big artists such as Taylor can survive without the power of streaming, independent production companies with niche audiences may not find it easy. Independent labels continue to compete for exposure on large streaming platforms.
Often independent labels are unable to negotiate properly with large digital aggregators such as Deezer or Tidal for more favorable rates. Also, more often than not they lack the expertise and a large music library to gain bargaining power. Major record labels are backed by large companies and hence have the capability to negotiate better terms for their artists based on the their catalog size. However, they tend to focus more on the volume of music rather than the artists themselves.
Smaller record labels care more about safeguarding the interests of artists and actually create new genres of music rather than focusing on just releasing songs. In order to establish a foothold in the music streaming space, smaller record labels stream independently.
Indie labels are now building their own streaming services to ensure that artists get maximum exposure and the best deals.
SoundCloud is a platform where pretty much any artist can upload their music. It gave emerging and niche musicians a place to share their tracks. Now, indie labels are developing their own streaming services to let artists earn their due credit.
Curated and customized content in a music streaming service is preferred more by consumers because they are able to search and retrieve music that matches their tastes.
Also, since indie labels offer a niche genre of music as compared to mainstream music offered by large record labels, listeners are able to find and enjoy their favorite music. Users who invest in subscribing to smaller streaming sites feel satisfied knowing that they are supporting artists whom they follow.
However, for independent labels to make a mark in the audio ecosystem, they need to work at all levels both in terms of quantity and quality, to succeed and become the “go-to” audio streaming site.
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