Image credit: Jackson Simmer

Independent artists and labels are taking the throne away from major labels, accounting for half Spotify’s streaming revenue paid last year.

For a long time, major labels have held a stranglehold over the industry and its artists. It wasn’t so long ago that your chances of having a hit without major label recognition was next to zero. Thanks to streaming, things have changed – and in a big way!

Last week, Spotify revealed that they had paid out a whopping $9 billion to the music industry last year. Now we know that $4.5 billion of that went to independent artists and labels – yep, that’s half! Spotify revealed that this broke records across the industry as “the highest amount indies have ever generated from a single retailer in one year”.

This is huge news for independents, who have fought to take the industry into their own hands. We’re proud to have been part of the journey at RouteNote, offering free music distribution to Spotify and beyond, empowering artists with the ability to lead their own music journey. Thanks to globally available platforms like Spotify and services like ours, independent musicians have managed to take away the corporate grip on music.

Spotify’s statistics is especially important thanks to their significant share of the music industry. The company now accounts for “more than 20% of the global recorded music revenues”. That means that the independent presence on Spotify is really important.

CEO of A2IM, Dr. Richard James Burgess says: “In 2023, independent music’s historic achievement, generating nearly $4.5 billion on Spotify, underscores the transformative and democratizing impact of streaming, marking a milestone in the global accessibility and success of independent artists.”

The astonishing $4.5 billion that Spotify paid to independent artists and labels is 4x higher than 2017. Spotify says: “Streaming has levelled the playing field for how independent artists get their music into the world.”

Join the independent revolution and upload your music to Spotify entirely free at RouteNote. Unlimited free uploads and revenue from every stream are a click away at