The BBC recently discussed the history of the indie music industry and its overall impact on the modern music industry. Although indie music has always existed in some form or another, the industry was allowed to cultivate a massive following after the development and progression of the internet era. Indie music has produced large followings for talented artists who otherwise would not have been able to find audiences for their brands of music. The indie music industry is also responsible for incremental, but impactful, changes to the mainstream music industry that have allowed new talent to be discovered and nourished in informal ways.
As is the case with most indie art movements, the indie music scene exploded as a result of difficulty with conformity to the industry of mainstream music. In the United States and the United Kingdom, the mainstream music industry dominated the production of music, the careers of signed artists, and the output of musical concepts during the years prior to the mid 1990s. This industry had become, and still is, monopolized by a small percentage of wealthy business owners who control artist output. For the last fifty years before the internet boom, the industry was riddled with stories of recording artists who worked with label heads for years and had little to show for their time, fame, and effort. These artists were often cheated out of the money they had earned and deceived into working more than 80 hours each week to receive a pittance in payment. The mainstream music industry has also been accused of over sexualizing very young artists, treating individuals as marketing schemes instead of human beings, and choosing talent based on their ability to be sold to specific industries rather than based on their ability to create and produce a professional quality of music.
The indie music industry exploded during the internet age as competition drove down the prices of previously unattainable recording supplies and artists gained access to new ways of reaching customers.