Indie artists seeking more royalties and more exposure
Independent artists in Australia and New Zealand want DSPs to pay higher royalty payouts, say Instagram is currently their most effective social promo tool and only a third have played more than five shows in the last year, according to new survey results.
The inaugural GYROsurvey from GYROstream spoke to over 200 people from the independent sector in Australia and New Zealand to take its temperature.
The study found found that 64% still want to remain independent while 35% will sign to a label.
The significant reason for independence (79%) was creative control.
15% suggested a better financial outcome and 6% had a bad experience with a label.
For those agreeable to hitching their star to a label, the major reason (48%) was more support.
The other draws were more exposure (17%), better networks (17%), financial backing (9%) and the prestige of being associated with a brand (7%).
The gripe by almost 90% about the payout rates from Spotify and Facebook was inevitable.
Of the social media platform most effective in promoting their music, 60% chose Instagram.
Far below were Facebook (29%), YouTube (4%), SoundCloud (3%) and Twitter (1%).
The absence of TikTok is strange, but GYROstream believes that given the platform’s huge growth in popularity in the past 12 month, it will show an impact on 2022’s list.
Rightly or wrongly, artists believe that getting on playlists and social media engagement are the two most important factors (27% and 26% respectively) when promoting a new release.
Release timing gets a higher tick (16%) than radio airplay (14%) and press coverage (13%) while the all-important direct fan engagement is relegated to a lowly 4%.
The rise of the internet and streaming services has made online music distribution accessible to everyone.
But conflicting information out there is reflected in customer service & support and dealing with a local company as the two most important in choosing a service, followed by low fees and easy-to-use technology.
For the indies, the biggest challenges facing the industry were exposure (27%), lack of live opportunities (21%), income (21%), market saturation (17%), poor streaming royalties (7%), learning industry insights (4%), rising marketing costs (4%), and sexual harassment ranked curiously low (1%).
GYROstream plans to make GYROsurvey annual to provide insight to trends in the sector.
“In the last two years, everyone has felt more isolated than ever,” said CEO Andy Irvine.
“So we hope by sending some of these results out into the world, it shows independent artists that collectively as a community, their opinions are being heard and might also give them the tools and information they need to inform their future career decisions and success.”
A Deloitte/ AIR report revealed that by 2017 Australian indies’ share of the $400 million total recording industry had risen to 30%, local artists make up 57% of indie sector revenue, and 95% of its output is new content.