Indie Artists Generated ‘About Half’ Of Spotify’s Musical Revenue In 2023

28 February 2024 | 11:39 am | Ellie Robinson

The record-breaking stats signal a major shift for the music industry.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (Supplied)

Spotify just dropped some interesting statistics from its latest data-scrape, revealing that independent artists and labels generated nearly $4.5 billion on the platform in 2023 – roughly half of the big green streamer’s musical revenue for the year.

The record-breaking pull marks the highest dollar figures indies have ever generated from a single retailer, and according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Global Music Report for 2023, it’s more than we saw from the entire recorded music industry in every country worldwide (aside from the US).

It’s also roughly four times the amount that indies generated on Spotify in 2017, signalling a major shift for the music industry as a whole. It’s definitive proof that major labels no longer hold the mainstream in a chokehold – artists are able to release smash-hit singles and albums, tour the world and become superstars without even uttering the words “Sony”, “Warner” or “Universal”.

Part of this indie explosion comes at the hand of Spotify’s own editorial team, who regularly include up-and-coming artists on the flagship New Music Friday playlist, as well as tailored playlists like Fresh Finds (which debuted in 2016 and has sent many an unheard-of artist soaring straight up to the big leagues).

And when you zoom out, things look even brighter: Spotify accounts for a little more than 20 percent of revenue brought in by the global recorded music industry. $4.5 billion is nothing to balk at as a whole, but when you consider that could be just one fifth of what independent artists and labels are capable of generating? Insane.

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In other Spotify news, it was a little over a month ago that we saw the company (seemingly) confirm the launch of “superfan clubs” and “alternative app stores” in its not-too-distant future. Also in January, we looked at 12 up-and-coming Australian artists who regularly draw in more than a million monthly listeners on Spotify – just more proof that indies truly do own the future.