Streaming Triggers a Resurgence in the Small Record Label


Merlin, an organization made up of some of the world’s top indie labels, distributed $353 million to members over the past year — a 52 percent jump from a year earlier, the group will announce Thursday.

The credit goes to streaming — internet services like Spotify and Apple Music that give listeners access to millions of songs for a monthly fee or for free if they’re willing to hear ads. No longer needing to press and distribute physical CDs, independent record labels can now reach a global audience at lower costs — and close the gap with the Big Three of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment and Access Industries’ Warner Music Group.