American musician Insyde recently signed a worldwide distribution deal with AWAL, a UK-based record label owned by Kobalt, a major music rights and synch firm that boasts clients such as Paul McCartney, Lauv, A$AP Rocky, Roddy Ricch, FINNEAS, deadmau5, and others.
Insyde is one of many artists that are leaving traditional record labels in favor of less restrictive distributors (such as DistroKid, Amuse, and AWAL), in order to retain music rights and retain larger monetary cuts of their music’s streaming and sales. As technology and streaming has continued to grow and improve, this kind of distribution has become a very viable and attractive alternative to the traditional record label setup, luring more and more major artists away every year.
Unsigned and independent artists accounted for over 27% of the nearly £15 billion global streaming revenue in 2018, and it was also the first year that over 51% of labels’ revenue came from streaming services. As digital and physical music sales continue to decline, artists continue to have more and more options open to them in the world of social media and virality. With the advent of TikTok, small indie artists can blow to superstardom in mere days, and in the case of Lil Nas X (Old Town Road) and Arizona Zervas (Roxanne), even score chart topping hits before signing any record deals.