What’s the actual difference between an Indie and a Major?

Billboard recently interviewed Richard Burgess, CEO of the American Association of Independent Music, and the following are a few choice highlights:

On what’s an Indie: “We have a pretty strict definition. You have to own or control the masters, so you have to have 50% or more of your masters and less than a 5% global market share.”

On the size of the Music Industry: “The music industry is worth $7.5 billion a year.”

On ad revenue from terrestrial music radio stations: “if you just look at the music stations they bring in $11 billion a year. So, you have a situation where terrestrial radio is making more money from music than the entire music industry is making from music”

On streaming opportunities and bypassing traditional gatekeepers: “The Indies were pretty much shut out of radio because back in the day when it cost like $500,000 to have a CHR [contemporary hit radio] or $100,000 to have an alternative hit, not many Indies could compete at that level. And even now, when you don’t have to pay that kind of money to get on radio, there’s still a very limited number of records that get on FM radio. But on Spotify any record can start out on a tiny little playlist and they can percolate up through that playlist until it ends up on the top and eventually gets on the radio which is what happens. So Indies over index because everything’s there now.”

Read the full interview here:

Learn more about A2IM

Share This

About the author

Mike Dias is a Sales Director for Logitech. He specializes in consumer electronics & pro audio with an expertise in headphones & portable audio. He has over 15 years of experience selling custom handcrafted in-ear monitors.

View all articles by Mike Dias