Record Union calls for streaming platforms to support indie acts

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Record Union has called for digital streaming platforms to acknowledge independent music artists by creating a tag for indie content.

Johan Svanberg, chief executive of the Swedish distributor, is urging the music industry to sign an open letter to streaming giants including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube, calling for greater support of the independent sector.

‘Today, the global independent market share of streaming is 19.55 percent. The rest is controlled by three major record labels. We want this to change and we want to give independent music creators the most important tag for independent content to acknowledge independent music,’ the company said.

The letter follows a survey of more than 1,000 music creators carried out by Record Union, which found that 69 percent ‘believe that today’s playlist culture favours mainstream music rather than independent artists.’

Svanberg said: ‘We believe that equality and diversity within music is not only about gender and ethnicity. It is also about who is behind the music in terms of creation and ownership. The survey referred to above shows that 50 percent of the independent music creators believe that a major label would restrict them to explore lyrical content and innovative musical styles.

‘Hence, it is critical to even out the unfair structures that characterises the industry, in order to keep and develop the diversity and power of music.’

Outlining what digital streaming platforms can do to help, he added: ‘The first thing we would like you to do is to acknowledge independent music. We want independent music creators to have the ability to tag their music in your product – just as you tag explicit content.

‘This would help independent music creators to stand out in a crowd full of major label backed artists and it would also help consumers to actively choose to listen to independent music.’

To sign the letter, visit independenttag.com.