WIN annual report celebrates milestone year for global independent sector

The global network now brings together 36 trade associations representing over 8,000 music businesses. Plans to expand into emerging markets: Asia, MENA & Sub-Saharan Africa as priorities. Calls for international response to address touring barriers facing independent artists & venues.

London, 22nd August 2023

The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), the international body bringing together the independent recorded music sector, has published its 2022/23 Annual Report, declaring a landmark year for independent music.

WIN made significant gains in 2023 welcoming new members the Asociación de la Música Independiente del Paraguay (AMI Paraguay) and the South India Music Companies Association (SIMCA). Its network now spans 36 trade associations and 40 territories, which represent over 8,000 music companies and entrepreneurs worldwide.

The independent sector accounts for at least 40% global market share and is responsible for 80% of the world’s new releases, with at least $4.1B having been invested in discovering and nurturing global independent talent.

The report reflects on the mounting pressures that face independent music businesses and touring artists in the global live landscape, including rising visa costs, stringent post-Brexit travel restrictions, the aftermath of COVID-19, anti-competitive behavior from bad actors in the live sector, and inflation. It calls for more governments around the world to implement support measures for independent artists and venues, in order to facilitate economic growth and cultural exchange between territories.

The report also responds to the growing use of generative AI in the recordings business, as well as the rise of streaming fraud, with WIN pledging to encourage and facilitate the use of best practice as well as ensure the independent community is equipped to respond to the challenges of rapidly advancing technologies. Over the past year WIN’s support has included the creation of resources such as the ‘ISRC Factsheet‘, providing accessible advice designed to ensure accurate reporting and royalty payments.

The report’s foreword sees Zena White, Chair of the WIN Board, set out plans for further expansion into emerging markets, noting Asia, MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa as priorities. White also reaffirms the organization’s mission to support the creation of new domestic trade organizations to support developing independent music communities. This is facilitated by initiatives such as WIN’s ‘Roadmap to Starting a Trade Association‘, published in October 2022 to offer practical guidance for setting up independent music bodies.

The report sets out plans to develop key projects including the Southern Cone’s Independents Forum (FICS) (which launched in November 2022 and was instrumental in establishing AMI Paraguay), as well as WINHUB – an international networking hub promoting collaboration between independent music businesses and trade bodies. Launched in December, WINHUB has brought together over 400 professionals across two in person and three online events, connecting businesses from 37 countries.

Zena White, COO Partisan Records, USA & Chair of WIN, said: “WIN’s purpose is to develop a thriving ecosystem for independent music businesses worldwide, which ultimately leads to more economic options for artists, in turn allowing for more diversity and progress for music as an artform. We do this by nurturing new and existing trade associations the world over, communicating on key issues that affect the industry, and providing a place for members to build business connections. It is a great honor to represent the independent music community on such a global level and I am inspired to support the team to move the agenda forward.”

Noemí Planas, CEO of WIN, commented: “WIN acts as a powerful catalyst, uniting like-minded individuals, companies, and associations around the world under a shared vision, addressing industry challenges to create a diverse and vibrant music ecosystem with equal access and opportunities for all independents. As we enter yet another chapter of technological change, we embrace a future where solidarity and cooperation pave the way for outstanding achievements and shape a world where we can all thrive.”

The WIN Annual Report 2022-23 is available for download here.

The Chair’s Foreword and the CEO’s Executive Summary are also available in FrenchKoreanJapanesePortuguese and Spanish.


Founded in 2006 in response to shared issues faced by the music sector everywhere, WIN brings together local independent music trade associations throughout Australasia, Asia, Europe, North and South America, representing thousands of music companies and professionals worldwide.