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MISTER | August 10, 2021

Independent Artists Could Generate More Than $1 Billion in 2021

Ten months ago, a report said that artists would earn more than $1 billion from their music royalties (records plus publishing) across 2021, stating this was a number that was “only going to increase over many years.” Risked sounding a little self-importance at the time. Raine Group is a U.S.based merchant bank that allows grasping guidance to companies in the music businesses, as well as spending in benefit itself. 

Raine group had completed more than $600 million in music-related sales and following its own $75 million investment in SoundCloud (2017). Raine has advised the selling side on important music-biz deals, including Downtown’s $200 million-plus buyout of CD Baby last year and the sale of Amsterdam-based FUGA, also to Downtown, in January.

 Ins & Outs of Independent Artists Business 

Raine’s definition covers two areas: self-releasing acts uploading their tunes to YouTube, Spotify etc., via Distrokid,TuneCore, Amuse, Ditto and CD Baby; and “Mid-Tail Artist Services” acts, who ink “label services” deals with companies such as Empire, AWAL and Believe. 

Before we face the ins and outs of these reports about independent artists, it’s important to clarify that, in Raine’s description, “independent artist” broadly means “musician not signed to record labels.”

A recent group of firms act like record labels, and spending agreed with budgets to accelerate performers’ careers but, crucially, allow artists to maintain ownership of their copyrights. Raine further includes those independent musicians being directly assigned to create tracks for production music and “sync” in TV shows, movies, & ads, etc.

Independent Artist Career Earnings

According to Raine’s, DIY artists, via distributors, generated $950 million last year, a number that it divines will jump by 27 per cent to $1.21 billion in 2020. Artists signed to mid-tail services deals were worth $585 million last year, says Raine. It maintains that this figure will jump 42 per cent to $834 million in 2020.

Raine thinks that the money generated by this scale of independent artists will reach $2.12 billion in 2021. This cash haul, proposes Raine, will mean that indie artists are worth between nine and 10 per cent of the global recorded-independent artist industry.

Raine Group Independent Artists

Partner of Raine Group and co-author of the bank’s independent-artist 

Fred Davis states that this is just the beginning of a rapid market-share gain by non-label-affiliated independent artists. Raine predicts independent artists will see their cumulative revenues grow faster than any other sector of the record industry in the years ahead.

The Raine paper explains: “From now on, the independent-artist sector is projected by Raine to increase at a premium to the more extensive recorded music industry in line with historical trends. Our point is that this growth step is conservative, given the large growth potential in the sector and expansion into developing markets, e.g., China, India.”

Most of these projects will come from three factors: more & more artists creating, uploading, and streaming their music; the rapid increase in international markets where both services & distribution are growing; and more success stories hits for independent artists in the industry.”

To Remind You

An artist with enough resources can hire the same promo and A&R executives that a label can in today’s music business.


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