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Published on February 7th, 2013 | by Alan Cross


Have We Reached a New Tipping Point with Indie Music?

Maybe.  A quick look at recent album and download charts will show Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis at or near the top.  This is the first time an indie artist has done this well since Lisa Loeb back in the early 90s.

Could this mean that indie music has come of age in the new digital world?  

From WAXY.org

For the first time in two decades, an indie artist is topping the Billboard charts. For the last three weeks, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” has remained at the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100, beating the likes of Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.


For hundreds of years, publishers across every industry — book publishers, record labels, film studios, videogame publishers — solved problems for artists in four major ways:

  1. Funding. The cost of creating a new work, paying the artist’s expenses during the creation process, often with an advance.
  2. Production. Design, manufacturing, and printing of the finished product.
  3. Marketing. Going on tour, making a video, promotion in various media outlets.
  4. Distribution. Getting the product into people’s hands.

And how does this play out now?

Continue reading.

About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One Response to Have We Reached a New Tipping Point with Indie Music?

  1. J.Kent says:

    Couldn't it be that "Thrift Shop", as essentially a kitschy-fueled song served with loads of irony and satire and known more as a novelty, is something of an anomaly?

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