Traditional wisdom says that the recorded music industry is dominated by the major labels. There used to be a bunch of them, but over the last 25 years, their number has been whittled down to just three companies: Universal (the biggest), Sony, and Warner Music.
Here’s something you may not have known. At last estimate, about 95,000 songs are uploaded to streaming music services every day. Of that number, only about 4% are from those three majors. The rest comes from indie labels and do-it-yourself musicians.
Let me flip that around: 96% of all new music comes from independent musicians. The market share of indie labels has been rising by double-digits for almost 25 years now.
Indie music—or at least material from bands not directly signed to one of the three majors—was an important aspect of the 2010s. Major label acts were still important, but without the indies, it would have been a pretty empty decade. But thanks to the sheer volume of new music and some crafty distribution by indie-friendly companies, we got to hear a lot of it.
The width and breadth of indie over those ten years was staggering. And without the influence of independent musicians, styles, and trends, major label mainstream rock would have been much different.
Let’s examine that. This is part two of the history of rock in the 2010s.
Songs heard on this show:
- Milky Chance, Stolen Dance
- Gotye, Somebody I Used to Know
- Vampire Weekend, Horchata
- Lumineers, Ho Hey
- Three Days Grace, Painkiller
- Fall Out Boy, My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)
- Lorde, Royals
- David Bowie, Lazarus
- Linkin Park, Bleed It Out
Eric Wilhite supplies the playlist.
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
- 102.1 The Edge/Toronto – Sunday night at 7pm
- Q107/Toronto – Sunday night at 9pm
- Live 88-5/Ottawa – Saturdays at 9am and Sundays at 6pm.
- 107.5 Dave-FM/Kitchener – Sunday nights at 11pm
- FM96/London – Sunday nights at 8pm
- Power 97/Winnipeg – Sunday nights at 11pm
- Sonic 102.9/Edmonton – Sunday at 8am and 8pm
- The Zone/Victoria – Sunday at 8am and 9pm
- The Fox/Vancouver – Sunday at 11pm
- Surge 105/Halifax – Sunday at 7pm
- WAPS/WKTL The Summit/Arkon, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown – Mon-Fri at 9pm