Independent labels have become the biggest player in the US recorded music market – and their share is growing fast. According to new statistics from Nielsen/Billboard, the independents took 35.4% of the US market by ownership (volume) in the first half of 2015. That was comfortably ahead of Universal (27.6%), Sony (20.9%) and Warner (15.2%), and represented an increase on the 35.1% share the indies claimed across the whole of 2014.
In Japan the RIAJ has yet to yet to announce digital music sales figures but physical sales for the first half of the year are almost exactly the same as 2014: The CD market took 92.123bn Yen (approx $750m) in H1 2015, compared to 92.391bn Yen (approx $750m) posted in the same period a year before. Meanwhile, Japan’s thriving music video market continues to show its strength, actually growing ever-so-slightly from 35.37bn Yen (approx $290m) in H1 2014 to 36.07bn Yen (approx $290m) in the first six months of this year.
The biggest music subscription service on the planet, Amazon Prime has not been licensed by the biggest music company on the planet, Universal - but that hasn't stopped Amazon Prime Music, which officially launched in the UK this week, having a bigger paying customer base than Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and Apple Music combined. But more users ?
vKontake, the somewhat controversial but leading Russian social networking giant, has signed a 'goodwill agreement' with Sony Music which will seemingly halt the major's legal action against the social network. Sony drop out of an lawsuit filed at the Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court, in which Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music demanded countermeasures and compensation for the large scale copyright infringement vKontake allegedly facilitates. The other labels remain as litigants. No further details on the content of the deal have been published, but according to reports, VK will upgrade its current music service.