News 15 July 2021
Author: Courtney W

MPs Call For ‘Complete Reset’ Of Music Streaming To Ensure Fair Pay For Artists

15 July 2021

A “complete reset” of music streaming is needed to protect artists, a committee of MPs has said.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee has published its report examining the economic impact music streaming is having on artists, record labels and the sustainability of the wider music industry.

The inquiry, which took evidence from a number of musicians including Nile Rodgers, reported that the UK’s music landscape could be transformed within a decade unless artists receive a larger share of revenues.

“While streaming has brought significant profits to the recorded music industry, the talent behind it – performers, songwriters and composers – are losing out,” said Julian Knight, MP, who chairs parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.

“Only a complete reset of streaming that enshrines in law their rights to a fair share of the earnings will do.”

The report adds that even successful pop artists are seeing “pitiful returns” from streaming.

The report says: “The pitiful returns from music streaming impact the entire creative ecosystem. Successful, critically acclaimed professional performers are seeing meagre returns from the dominant mode of music consumption. Non-featured performers are frozen out altogether, impacting what should be a viable career in its own right, as well as a critical pipeline for new talent.”

The committee is calling for royalties to be split 50/50, instead of the current rate where artists receive about 16%.

Among the recommendations by the committee is a “a broad yet comprehensive range” of legislative reforms to protect the rights of musicians and songwriters, such as “equitable remuneration”, whereby labels and artists receive an equal share of streaming royalties.

Representatives from the major streaming companies are reportedly open-minded about adjusting the royalty system.

The Featured Artists Coalition and Music Managers Forum described the committee’s work as a “landmark report”.

In a joint statement, they said: “This is a once in a lifetime moment to reset our business along fairer and more equitable lines, it is not an opportunity to be wasted.”

Click here to read the full report.

[Image by Koshiro K via Shutterstock]