Image credit: Callum Walker Hutchinson

Independent artists have increased their UK music market share for the sixth year in a row, taking more power from major labels.

Music is becoming independent-led more and more. The latest report from BPI reveals the UK’s independent sector growing for the 6th year in a row, alongside 9 years of growth for the whole industry.

In 2023, independent artists and labels made up 29.2% of music consumption in the UK. Independents grew their share of streaming consumption to 28.3%. Globally, independents now earn half of the Spotify payouts.

The presence of independent music has exploded with the availability of digital music services. However, that presence is translating across formats. A whopping 39.1% of vinyl LP sales in the UK last year were of independent records. Whilst impressive, that’s slightly down from 2022’s 41.3% share – thanks to huge independent releases that year from Arctic Monkeys, the 1975, and Wet Leg.

CDs have made a notable return, offering a cheaper alternative to collectors and music fans who cherish physical music in a digital age. In the UK, that resurgence is claimed 32.8% by independents – a very small market share growth of 0.3%.

The surging popularity of independents is being reflected in the charts. The biggest independent single of the year in the UK was the huge hit ‘Escapism.’ by Raye featuring 070 Shake. Over 60 albums released by independent labels made the weekly Top 10 of the Official Albums Chart in 2023.

Digital music has given independents the power to reclaim the power back from major labels and give artists more control. With platforms that are easy to access for artists and a global reach that isn’t impeded by the manufacturing limitations of physical distribution.

We’re proud to serve over 1 million independent artists and labels at RouteNote. With free distribution to the world’s top music services, we have empowered independent artists with the same visibility as major label artists – helping them to get discovered and earn revenue from their music.

Are you an independent artist looking to get out there and join the wave? Upload your music for free at