Global recorded music revenue grew by 8.4% in 2017 to $17.4 billion from $16 billion in 2016. According to MIDiA Research, the growth means that the recording business has almost regained the losses during the great recession and is at 2008 levels. Streaming is the driver of growth, representing 43% of all revenues, with 39% year-on-year growth. One of the main highlights is that independent artists, meaning those without a label, grew by 27% to to $472 million. This is up from $371 million the year before. Independent labels and artists accounted for 30.3% of the total revenue in 2017.
However, the big boys are still the big boys for a reason. Universal is still the largest label, owning nearly 30% of the global revenue, while Sony is at 22%, and then Warner with 18%, though Warner showed the largest growth. Independent labels grew by nearly 28%, though a lot of that money is distributed through major labels or companies owned by majors, so they can account for that revenue. Read the full report to get all the numbers here and see the nifty little graphic below.