The Musicians’ Union, which has over 30,000 members through the industry, stated it was pressing for a collective pay agreement modelled about the royalties paid by BBC and commercial radio stations. Spotify pays artists less than 0.4p per stream, which implies that a music that had a million playsmight earn its performer just ￡4,000 (€4,600).
In comparison, a three-minute song played out on BBC Radio 2 creates ￡59.73 for the songwriters and an additional similar sum to be split between your label and the performing artists. The 50/50 split is being recommended by the union, even though the remuneration itself could be much more modest.
The newest row over Spotify’s royals payments began a week ago after Radiohead’s frontman Thom Yorke and the band’s producer Nigel Godrich drawn songs from the streaming program, the latter stressing that “new artists get paid f**k all with the model”.
Stephen Street, who created Blur’s Parklife album, provided a swift riposte, accusing Yorke of hypocrisy, indicating that Radiohead devalued digital music by permitting fans to download their In Rainbows album at no cost in 2007.
John Smith, common secretary of the Musicians’ Union, stated the consensus among its a large number of members was that royalty payments produced by Spotify, which provides unlimited use of 20 million songs to subscribers who pay fees each month, were “unfair”.
He stated: “It is difficult, especially for emerging artists, to create a decent sum of money. The streaming model will be able to work to the benefit of performers. We want to see a realignment of the mental property rights that govern all this to become fairer to artists.
“In the arena of BBC radio and industrial radio there is a division of royalties 50/50 between record companies and artists that consists of everyone from the famous artists to the triangle player, and we want to see something similar.”
One artist, singer-songwriter Tom McRae, stated the argument that Spotify would show to be the salvation of the music industry simply because it negates the threat from piracy and generates income had unsuccessful. He stated Spotify had “pulled the wool over fans’ eyes, allowing them to believe they’re supporting the designers by using a legal streaming program which pays royalties.