Is Indie the future of music?

Indie grows by making music fans music critics, distributors, etc. This is the future of music.

I was surprised to read on David Kusek's blog (Future of Music) that Indie's share of the music market is galloping toward 30 percent. I'm not sure where Kusek gets that number, though I was able to find some corroboration, but that is a surprising rise for a once obscure slice of the music pie.

It's also perhaps indicative of how music distribution is changing music preferences:

Indie Labels now account for upwards of 30 percent of total music sales, up from the low 20's just a few years ago. This is a profound shift in the powerbase that favors the independent artist and innovator.

Social music sites such as LastFM, Pandora, iLike and many more are making the fans into tastemakers with the ability to promote and share great new music at the touch of a button.

Tastemakers, yes, but also kingmakers. I've found a range of new music (Yes, Indie, for the most part) through Pandora and other such services. Really, really good music. That's how I initially found Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Band of Horses, The Essex Green, Surfan Stevens, Super Furry Animals, and more.

I can't remember the last time I've walked into a music store, and I can't remember the last time I found a new metal band. (My high school days revisiting me.) Indie, in my admittedly limited experience, seems to do online distribution better than other genres of music.

And so it grows.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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