Independent labels worldwide have seen their earnings from Latin America increase five fold in three years and are set to generate a further $60m from streaming services in the territories in 2018.
The stats come from global digital rights agency Merlin, and were revealed by CEO Charles Caldas during an interview at SXSW today.
At current rates of growth, Merlin expects to generate over $60m in revenues this year across its audio streaming service partners in Latin America.
Since January 2015, US-based members, who represented around 50% of those earnings, have seen streaming revenues in Latin America almost double as a percentage of their business.
Brazil – a market previously plagued by piracy – is now the sixth biggest-earning territory for Merlin’s independent label members and ahead of France, Australia and Canada.
The rise in revenues from Latin American territories outpaced the growth in more mature markets such as North America, the UK and Europe.
Argentina, Mexico and Chile are also among Merlin’s top-20 highest earning territories.
In Merlin’s most recent membership survey, 42% of independent labels said that over half their digital revenue originated from consumption outside their home territory.
By comparison, only 17% stated this was the case for physical sales, of CD or vinyl.
Audio streaming accounts for the bulk of digital revenue for two-thirds of Merlin members.
Caldas said: “Merlin’s independent record label members already occupy a unique position on streaming services, with their repertoire consistently over-indexing on subscription tiers compared to free ad-supported ones.
“We now have irrefutable evidence that the new dynamics of streaming are opening up previously inaccessible territories to independent music, with a phenomenal consumption surge in Latin America and across Asia.”
charles caldas, merlin
“Users of these services deeply engage with Merlin members’ music, and are willing to pay for it.
“We now have irrefutable evidence that the new dynamics of streaming are opening up previously inaccessible territories to independent music, with a phenomenal consumption surge in Latin America and across Asia.
“What feels particularly exciting is that we’re only at the start of this growth trajectory – and with potential of relatively untapped markets, including China, Russia and Africa, still to be realised.”
Music Business Worldwide