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Apple Music and Spotify help indie labels double their market share

July 01, 2019 / Ben Lovejoy

There’s been much criticism of streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify for paying relatively small sums to artists, but a new report today suggests there’s some good news in the mix. Independent labels now represent 40% of the music market, twice the share they had back in the days of physical music sales, and they have never been more optimistic about the future. CNET reports that playlists surfacing lesser-known artists has been key. Playlists have dramatically changed the way we listen to music. Instead of playing an entire album, we’ll sample tracks from a much greater variety of artists, including ones who would never before have made it onto our radar. That’s true of both Apple Music and Spotify, the effect applying to human-curated playlists and algorithmic ones alike. Apple Music pays the highest sums to creators at $12-15 per 1,000 streams, while YouTube pays the lowest at just $1 or so. Payments are typically split between artists, songwriters,...