Global independent sector takes 40% market share

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April 20, 2024

Thriving Independent Music: A Look into WIN's 2022/23 Annual Report

The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has recently released its 2022/23 annual report, bringing exciting news for the global independent recorded music sector. The report details the remarkable achievements and challenges faced by independent music businesses and touring artists in today's rapidly evolving landscape.

The international body for the independent recorded music sector, WIN, has welcomed new members, the Asociación de la Música Independiente del Paraguay (AMI Paraguay), and the South India Music Companies Association (SIMCA). With this expansion, WIN's network now spans 36 trade associations and 40 territories, representing over 8,000 music companies and entrepreneurs worldwide.

According to the report, the independent sector accounts for at least 40% of the global market share and is responsible for 80% of the world’s new releases, with at least $4.1 billion invested in discovering and nurturing global independent talent.

However, the report also reflects on the mounting pressures facing independent music businesses and touring artists in the global live landscape. These pressures include rising visa costs, stringent post-Brexit travel restrictions, the aftermath of Covid-19, anti-competitive behavior from bad actors in the live sector, and inflation. The report calls for more governments around the world to implement support measures for independent artists and venues to facilitate economic growth and cultural exchange between territories.

The report also addresses the growing use of generative AI in the recordings business, as well as the rise of streaming fraud. WIN has pledged to encourage and facilitate the use of best practices, as well as ensuring the independent community is equipped to respond to the challenges of rapidly advancing technologies.

Over the past year, WIN's support has included the creation of resources such as the ISRC Factsheet, providing accessible advice designed to ensure accurate reporting and royalty payments.

The foreword of the report sees Zena White, chair of the WIN board, setting out plans for further expansion into emerging markets, noting Asia, MENA, and Sub-Saharan Africa as priorities. White also reaffirms the organization’s mission to support the creation of new domestic trade organizations to support developing independent music communities.

Zena White (pictured), COO Partisan Records, USA & chair of WIN, said: “WIN’s purpose is to develop a thriving ecosystem for independent music businesses worldwide, which ultimately leads to more economic options for artists, in turn allowing for more diversity and progress for music as an artform. We do this by nurturing new and existing trade associations the world over, communicating on key issues that affect the industry, and providing a place for members to build business connections.

“It is a great honor to represent the independent music community on such a global level, and I am inspired to support the team to move the agenda forward.”

Noemí Planas, CEO of WIN, added: “WIN acts as a powerful catalyst, uniting like-minded individuals, companies, and associations around the world under a shared vision, addressing industry challenges to create a diverse and vibrant music ecosystem with equal access and opportunities for all independents. As we enter yet another chapter of technological change, we embrace a future where solidarity and cooperation pave the way for outstanding achievements and shape a world where we can all thrive.”

The WIN Annual Report 2022-23 is available for download here.