Spotify finally pays off for indie labels, YouTube still doesn’t

Spotify finally pays off for indie labels, YouTube still doesn’t

Digital rights agency Merlin last week released the results of its 2017 member survey. The good news is that even though nobody buys albums, revenues from digital music are increasing.

Merlin paid revenue out in the amount of 353 million dollars over the last year, which accounts for 64 percent of its client’s total earnings. That’s up 18 percent from last year’s findings.

Merlin’s survey represents over 20,000 independent record labels, which is a 12 percent chunk of the market. That is a huge portion, the largest not represented by the ‘big three’ of Sony, Warner, or Universal Music Group.

Of those surveyed, 39% report that digital music represents 75% of their revenue.

Video services, however, showed negligible growth. Half of the respondents reported that less than five-percent of their digital revenue came from YouTube or similar services, even though video platforms have 10-times as many users as ones that only stream audio.

Independent record labels aren’t going anywhere; the Merlin report indicates they are thriving. According to Merlin CEO Charles Caldas:

The only relative step backwards is the industry-wide under-performance of video-streaming. If we can address this market anomaly, then the uplift across the business would be enormous.

We previously reported that artists weren’t making much money from streaming services – now it seems like artists just aren’t getting paid from places like YouTube which can use DMCA loopholes to get around paying independent labels in the same way that, now, Spotify and Pandora type services do.

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