Proof, yet again, there is strength in numbers. A new report commissioned by the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) found independent labels generated more than $6 billion in 2016, up 6.9% from the prior year, and accounted for a 38.4% share of the global recorded music market, up slightly on 2015.

The WINTEL 2017 report is the second of its kind and was compiled by British analyst Mark Mulligan of MIDiA Research using data from 660 respondents, from labels and distributors in 26 countries.

The results, according to WIN, represent “the most comprehensive assessment of the global independent record label sector ever compiled.”

What sets this apart from other studies is that its findings are based on rights ownership rather than distribution, which forms the basis of the IFPI’s annual statistics feast, the Global Music Report (which replaced the Recording Industry In Numbers). According to WIN, around $1.2 billion of independent label revenue was distributed by majors or major-owned distributors in 2016, which WIN says should be attributed to the independent sector and “distorts the true picture of market value.”

This is particular important in the digital age because market share is used by the likes of Apple, Google and Spotify in negotiations with the independent sector and often determines the levels of remuneration paid out to right holders.