How Popular Is Indie Music - Let's Check The Stats

Posted by Jam Addict Staff

There was a time when people were discouraged from listening to indie music or even giving it a chance.

Many times it was seen as unimportant, only bought by individuals who could afford it or didn't have time to go to the club or enjoy the live music scene.

Indie artists couldn't make a living off their music, their songs weren't on the radio, and there was no shot that they would ever achieve fame and fortune as big name musicians.

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Fast-forward 20 years later and indie music is everywhere. Indie music has expanded into all kinds of genres like reggae, punk, metal, indie pop, post-hardcore, and more.

Indie artists have achieved great levels of fame and success, selling millions of albums and touring internationally. Indie musicians are everywhere from the Indie artists themselves, celebrities, your neighbors, and even those who work in your office.

Pop music is inescapable

black iphone 7 on macbook pro

Pop music is almost unavoidable in the United States, in all genres and sub-genres. In general, the more mainstream something is, the more popular it becomes. In the 90s, pop music, especially R&B music, was heavily dominated by rap music.

Top 40 radio stations and popular music shows dominated the airwaves, while indie music was dominated by college radio and independent stations.

Pop music still dominates the radio today, but only because it is a well-known genre. Indie music can have as much success as pop music if it is well-marketed and marketed properly.

It is amazing to read how successful indies have been over the past few years and many of them have managed to get multi-million pound record deals!

Below is an example of a sample question:

More specifically, I want to know:

  • What percentage of the music market is currently dedicated to independent music?
  • How many UK acts make up the indie scene?
  • How many of those UK acts are successful and sell out arenas?
  • What UK Indie artists are at the top of the charts?
  • How many UK Indie artists have topped the UK Singles Chart?
  • What are the top selling indie albums in the UK?
  • How many people do indie artists have as fans?
  • How many indie artists are signed to major record labels?
  • What is the biggest genre in the UK Indie scene?

How did you answer that question? I have used this example to try and show you just how popular independent music is in the UK right now.

This is not a sponsored post but all information I have used has come from various sites and blogs online.

How popular is indie music in the UK

alternative music

So, what percentage of the music market is indie? The market share of indie has been increasing over the past few years. According to FACT statistics, the indie market share was 6.5% in 2008.

By 2016 this had increased to 8.1%

Why is this an interesting statistic to mention? Indie is one of the fastest growing music genres in the UK. It has been taking market share from pop and rock for the past five years.

In 2012, you can see how popular indie music was in the UK. There are 27 indie artists on the “Worst of” list below.

The average position for this list was 76.

All of these indie artists were on the list but one! Only two of the 27 indie acts are from London.

However, one of those two is AKA which is probably the biggest mainstream artist in the UK at the moment.

When it comes to how many of these indie artists are successful, here is a breakdown:

Four out of 27 are household names who have had multiple number one singles. Seven have had number one albums.

One has had a number one single and number two album.

Most interestingly, you will find that two of the UK Indie acts have been on the “Worst of” list multiple times!

From the Top 40, it is clear that popular indie acts are not nearly as successful as other artists in the genre. This is shown by the average position of the songs on this list:

27. Martin Garrix (31 – 1)

25. Imagine Dragons (31 – 2)

23. Rizzle Kicks (31 – 4)

22. 2 much (30 – 5)

21. Jamie N Commons (31 – 6)

20. Hard-Fi (31 – 7)

19. Drake (31 – 8)

18. Calvin Harris (30 – 8)

17. Bruno Mars (30 – 10)

16. Liam Payne (29 – 10)

15. James Bay (29 – 11)

14. Sigala (29 – 12)

13. George Ezra (29 – 13)

12. Bastille (29 – 15)

11. Calvin Harris (29 – 16)

10. Clean Bandit (29 – 17)

9. Zayn (29 – 18)

8. Liam Payne (29 – 19)

7. Marshmello (29 – 20)

6. The Chainsmokers (29 – 21)

5. Rudimental (29 – 22)

4. Fetty Wap (28 – 29)

3. Tove Lo (28 – 30)

2. Rita Ora (28 – 31)

1. Jonas Blue (28 – 32)

In another FACT article, they have added their alternative version of the popular song. These are the results from their alternative version.

I personally believe that if these artists were on a major record label, their average position on this list would be higher.

29. Martin Garrix (30 – 1)

28. AlunaGeorge (28 – 2)

27. Tove Lo (28 – 3)

26. Fetty Wap (28 – 4)

25. Aloe Blacc (27 – 5)

24. Calvin Harris (27 – 6)

23. Rizzle Kicks (27 – 7)

22. 2 much (27 – 8)

21. Clean Bandit (26 – 9)

20. The Chainsmokers (25 – 10)

19. Louis Tomlinson (25 – 11)

18. Rudimental (24 – 12)

17. Martin Garrix (24 – 13)

16. James Bay (23 – 14)

15. Anne-Marie (23 – 15)

14. Marshmello (23 – 16)

13. Louis Tomlinson (23 – 17)

12. Anne-Marie (22 – 18)

11. Calvin Harris (22 – 19)

10. Clean Bandit (22 – 20)

9. Zara Larsson (21 – 21)

8. Rudimental (21 – 22)

7. Marshmello (21 – 23)

6. Ella Eyre (20 – 24)

5. DNCE (19 – 25)

4. Marshmello (19 – 26)

3. Jonas Blue (19 – 27)

2. DNCE (19 – 28)

1. Clean Bandit (19 – 29)

There is little to no way this could have happened without the labels.

While it seems that certain artists do well independently, the majors give them a push to where their music is able to be as popular as it is.

 

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