A series of indie artist-focused initiatives from Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music in 2019 have label executives watching the streaming market warily as major streaming services continue to disrupt the label-centered music business model; with none other than Spotify at the front of the action.
New partnerships, like Spotify’s partnership with DistroKid and Apple’s purchase of London-based startup Platoon, make it easier than ever for indie artists to get discovered. Platoon is an especially interesting acquisition since it operates like an indie label and might guarantee that Apple Music acquires a few exclusive indie artists.
Artists like Starrah have taken full advantage of these new tools and are successfully marketing themselves without a label’s backing. Although Spotify for Artists faced severe backlash after problems with their initial contract, it seems that artists are slowly easing up on their concerns.
Notably, major labels like Sony and Universal Music have yet to pull their investments from services like Spotify. It seems that executives are preparing for the model to shift entirely.