Great news for indie artists. They’re finding an audience on streaming services like Napster.

New data finds its subscribers are streaming songs and albums by indie artists more frequently helping more listeners discover music outside the mainstream.

The most significant growth for Napster was among the 100 most streamed artists. Back in 2015, only 15% of the most streamed artists were independent. Now in 2019, that number has doubled to 33% with one-third of the streams going to indies.


Indie artists are also seeing it and feeling optimistic.

“With a ton of hard work and good people to help you navigate, it’s very possible to be a successful independent artist with a good living. Napster provides that opportunity to be super connected to listeners and also to collaborators. The world is truly your oyster as an indie musician,” said Eva Walker, The Black Tones.

The “optimism index” at indies hit its highest level this year, according to an annual membership survey conducted last month by Merlin, a group representing more than 2,000 independent labels and music companies. Eighty-five percent of its members were optimistic about the future of their businesses, coinciding with their digital income swelling thanks to streaming.

“We’re thrilled about this data and believe the trend shows Napster has a unique user base looking to dig deeper into music and are willing to explore outside of the mainstream,” said Keola Kama, Napster’s Director of Label Relations and Licensing.

“The rise of indie artists on Napster also demonstrates our commitment to offering programming for emerging and independent artists with the same level of promotion such as above the fold programming and bespoke marketing campaigns usually only afforded to well-established commercially successful artists.”