🌐 IC Digest: Indies have never needed hits
Plus, how to split revenue by format 💿 or region 🌎, industry events, community updates, and more
Hey hi hello from your friends at the fast-growing IC Digest, Now with Even More Topicality™️
November is deceptively quiet in the music industry — new releases slow to a crawl, but many catalogs and creators are hard at work behind the scenes getting ready to make a big push once the holidays are over (similar vibe here at IC actually — stay tuned). In the meantime enjoy Thanksgiving, and if you’ve got anything going on in NYC in mid-December reply to let us know! Most of the IC crew will be in town, ready to crash your show/holiday party/etc. (and perhaps host one of our own) 🎁
So you wanted a hit…
How to explain last week’s news that UK indies notched their fifth consecutive year taking a chunk of major label market-share?
One answer: BMG boss Hartwig Masuch recently noted they’ve had their best-ever half-year results with “virtually no hits… we have a business model which can have hits and will have hits with the right repertoire but is designed to be robust enough not to need hits in order to survive.”
Spoken like a true indie, which, let’s be honest, have never really relied on hits to the same degree that majors do. They have certainly relied a lot less on the now-weakened hit machines of radio, tv appearances, and heavily subsidized touring budgets, so is it really that surprising that majors continue to lose ground?
Plus, the drying up of hits is less of an issue if your business is built on the more equitable profit-share model of the typical indie (often ~ a 50/50 split with the artist) vs. the old-school, major-label style deals (80/20 if you’re lucky, and even then, it’s actually worse than that for reasons I don’t have room for here). When you make lower risk/reward bets, you don’t need massive, zeitgeist-defining hits to stay at the table, just a few minor wins every now and then. Feast/famine may work for those with deep pockets, but indies have been playing the long game for years, and it seems to be working.
(And for those who get the reference in the title/caption, yes, I know very well LCD Soundsystem released that track on a major, but they started out on their very own DFA Records, still going strong and incidentally an IC customer (hi James).
Quick (Not-So-Hard-To-Come-By) Hits
Believe posted a 37% increase in revenue and raised its forecast yet again 📈
The threat of a long-tail cull looms… likely more from us on this later ✂️
🚀 IC UNIVERSE
Assign contracts by format 💿 or region 🌎 in IC!
IC catalogs team member extraordinaire Austin walks us through how to handle an otherwise-tricky situation with ease in IC, in a new blog post here + below!
📆 IC EVENTS
💿 We were back sponsoring the Independent Label Market recently, and this time we’re following that up with a free and thrilling webinar on Wed November 23rd at 2-3pm that anyone can join. See IC in action and get answers to your burning royalty accounting questions by reserving a spot here.
📆 INDUSTRY EVENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Nov 21st - 27th ‣ MUTEK Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico)
Nov 22nd - 26th ‣ Linecheck (Milan, Italy)
Nov 24th - 26th ‣ ACCES (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Nov 29th - Dec 1st ‣ Discop (Rwanda, Africa)
🙌 WHAT YOU'RE UP TO
🎧 Suicide Squeeze announced a new Death Valley Girls LP, Islands In The Sky, which drops Feb 23. Lead single What Are The Odds is out now.
🎧 I N N I put out Sin Fang’s a new record Vatnajökull, an ode to Iceland & Europe's biggest glacier.
🗓️ Double Double Whammy is doing a showcase event on Dec 13th in New York at Public Records ft. Babehoven, 2nd Grade and Katie Bejsiuk. Tickets here.
🗓️ Ramp Local put on a showcase called Two Evenings of Joy and Music ft. Godcaster, Tomato Flower, Turbo World and Kolb. Heard it was great!!
You can find a Spotify playlist here ft. our favourite tracks at the moment
Adam: Texas Techno: What’s fueling this hot moment for Texas’ rave explosion? / Rave New World
Hunter: was recently gifted a New Yorker subscription, and like so many before him is struggling to keep up
Elene: The Loneliest Americans by Jay Caspian Kang
Austin: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Till next time, Adam, Hunter & the IC Crew