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MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

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MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby The Elf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:47 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-54551342

About time. I'd love to think something sensible will come of this, but the realist in my head tells me otherwise...
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby desmond » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:58 pm

Pretty sure absolutely nothing will come of it, unfortunately.

I'd love to be proved wrong though...
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby RichardT » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:34 pm

It’s hard to see what can come out of this as streaming companies are generally based outside the UK.
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby James Perrett » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:49 pm

While I can't see the streaming companies changing what they do, it is possible that recording contracts could be changed to give artists a higher share from streaming. I've seen a few artists moaning about how little they get from streaming but the figures quoted usually show that it is their record label who is actually taking a huge share of the revenue.
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby blinddrew » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:03 pm

This ^^^
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby The Elf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:19 pm

Not in my case. I've seen the figures! Somebody is making money, and it isn't me or my label!
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby blinddrew » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:26 pm

Well bearing in mind that Spotify are yet to make a profit and by far their biggest cost is licensing, that would suggest that either yours isn't the right kind of label. Or there isn't actually much money to be made once you distribute it across an entire global ecosystem.

Out of curiosity, what would people consider to be a 'fair' payment for a single stream?
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby RichardT » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:42 pm

Here’s an interesting article about Spotify:

https://www.rollingstone.com/pro/featur ... s-1038408/

The lower 90% of Spotify artists make an average $12 a month.
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby The Elf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:32 pm

blinddrew wrote:Well bearing in mind that Spotify are yet to make a profit...
I really don't believe that.
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby blinddrew » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:22 pm

It's had one profitable quarter at the beginning of 2019 but had slipped to a loss again by the end of the year. 2020 has been heading in the right direction again, but it's not there yet.
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby shufflebeat » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:35 am

I wonder if there's a petition to persuade MPs to ascertain the religious loyalties of the Pope?

It would be as well to be sure.

And while we're at it, does anyone know I might find bear droppings?


I fear the only way any govt. will step in to this in any meaningful way is if they see it as a route to tax money and that will only involve a select few artists over a certain threshold of earnings. The platforms will hold in to the rest in negotiations.
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby The Elf » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:51 am

blinddrew wrote:It's had one profitable quarter at the beginning of 2019 but had slipped to a loss again by the end of the year. 2020 has been heading in the right direction again, but it's not there yet.
There are many ways to make it appear you're not making money, but I doubt that the owners are struggling for another holiday home this year.
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby blinddrew » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:44 am

But that's a very different question, morally, legally and practically.
Are we saying no-one should get paid until a company makes a profit? Obviously not, otherwise no-one would ever be able to start a company (unless they already had a few years of operating costs as loose capital).
So then we're talking about dictating the pay levels of individuals in a private or limited company. That feels like a very dangerous route to go down.
Surely what Daniel Ek gets paid is a matter for the remuneration committee, the board and the shareholders?

Anyway, let's do some maths.
Imagine a non-internet world. And let's make some assumptions.
Let's assume the average cd costs £10 (or € / $).
Let's assume the average cd contains 10 tracks.
The consumer therefore pays £1 per track for their hard copy.
Let's now assume (for sake of easy maths) that our consumer listens to the cd 5 times per year over a 20 year lifecycle. That gives us 100 plays per song and therefore a cost to the consumer of 1 pence per play.
Obviously this will vary hugely from cd to cd, but this gives us a handy multiplication point later.
So, of that 1p per play, 20% goes in tax, leaving 0.8p.
Then you have your retailer costs, say 25% of that penny? Leaving 0.55p.
Then you've got your manufacturing and distribution costs, say another 5%? Leaving 0.5p going back to rightsholders.
Not so different to the 0.4c that Spotify pays out now really.
But, you might say, there are no physical costs for Spotify, and hosting costs are minimal when spread per stream.
This is true, but Spotify is also operating in a global market. CDs may cost 10 £/€/$ across the G20, but that's a week's wages in quite large parts of the globe. If you charge western European prices in sub-saharan Africa for example, you're not going to sell much...

So anyway, what would people consider to be a fair payment for a stream?
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:20 am

The obvious problem with this analysis is that it amortises the value of the music over twenty years, instead of being front-loaded in the record/cassette/CD model.

There aren't many artists that could afford to remain full-time professional artists with that kind of income flow...
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Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Postby James Perrett » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:50 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:There aren't many artists that could afford to remain full-time professional artists with that kind of income flow...

That's where the record label advance comes in...

It is also worth remembering that the major owners of Spotify are the big labels themselves. Apparently they demanded shares as part of their agreement to license their catalogues to Spotify.
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