• David Bentley

News feature: Indie record labels dominate Swedish release schedules


As a publication which champions ‘indie’ artists and bands we were intrigued to learn of the increased presence and influence of independent labels in Sweden.


In January, IFPI Sweden, in cooperation with the Swedish independent label’s organisation SOM, presented the release schedules for all their music companies for the period January-June 2021. The report shows that indie labels totally dominate this year, in terms of the number of releases.


Those independent labels organised within SOM have over 400 scheduled releases (albums, EPs, singles) in that period, which is a higher number than ever before. 266 of these releases are with Swedish artists and bands. Since not all indie labels are members of SOM that means that there are around 370 scheduled indie releases with Swedish music during the first six months of the year. And it’s probably more, since many smaller indie labels come under neither SOM nor IFPI.


Those figures are impressive by comparison with the total of just 19 already-scheduled Swedish releases by the major music companies Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music, although admittedly that number will probably rise during the coming months. But even so, the report shows that the three major labels account for only one-twentieth of the local music repertoire in Sweden.


The indie labels with the highest number of Swedish releases scheduled from January 1st to June 30thare COMEDIA (who also manage the Swedish Independent Music Business Alternative or SIMBA),Icons Creating Evil Art, TEN Music Group, and Massproduktion. The distribution channels handling most releases are The Orchard, followed by Aloaded, Ingrooves, Playground Music, Jubel, Sound Pollution, and Border Music.


Well we’ve definitely featured artists from the first three labels extensively although not so much the latter, which gives us something to work on. Speaking of TEN Music Group there will be a review of Bonander’s latest single very soon.


As this is published, SOM is presenting the 19th annual award show Manifestgalan. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the show will this year be an online event. Mando Diao and ViVii will perform live and the winners in the 20 categories (Pop, Rock, Jazz, Hip-hop, Folk, Singer-songwriter, Punk, Experimental etc) will be presented by this year’s MC Anna Charlotta Gunnarsson. Immediately after the award ceremony there will be a live show with pre-recorded performances by Alice Boman, bob hund, ionnalee, Vera Vinter and others.


Here’s the latest, minimalist video from ViVii to give you a flavour of the show.

There was a line at the end of the PR that we agree with, too, courtesy of Icons Creating Evil Art. “Remember - if you're a label and doing ok - support the music press with some of your ad budgets!” We are standing by the ‘phone…!


More details here.