Music BussinesNews

Fighting for Fair Streaming Royalties Era

In a bid to address the ongoing concerns surrounding the disparity in streaming royalties received by musicians, a new bill has been tabled in the United States Congress. Championed by House Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Jamaal Bowman, the Living Wage for Musicians Act proposes the establishment of a revolutionary payment framework known as the Artist Compensation Royalty Fund. This fund seeks to bypass traditional intermediaries such as record labels, redirecting listeners’ contributions directly to the artists.

Tlaib emphasized the transformative impact of streaming on the music industry but underscored the pressing need to rectify the financial struggles faced by numerous artists. “It’s imperative that the creative minds behind the music we cherish receive equitable compensation, enabling them to flourish rather than merely scrape by,” she asserted. Under the provisions of the Act, funding for these initiatives would be sourced from two channels: an additional subscription levy, tentatively set between $4 and $10, and a 10% levy on non-subscription revenue generated by streaming platforms, including revenue from advertisements.

The bill has garnered support from the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW), which views it as a pivotal step towards addressing the inequities inherent in the current streaming landscape. Damon Krukowski of UMAW highlighted the need to shift the focus back to the artists, lamenting the failure of streaming platforms and major labels to adequately compensate musicians over the past decade. “The Living Wage for Musicians Act offers a fresh, artist-centric approach to revitalize the streaming ecosystem, ensuring that the benefits are shared among the many, not just the privileged few,” Krukowski remarked.

As the bill advances through the early stages of congressional deliberation, its reception among lawmakers remains uncertain. Recent data from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) underscores the dominance of streaming in the music consumption landscape, constituting a staggering 87.7% of all music consumption in the UK. The report revealed a doubling in the volume of streams in the UK since 2018, with 179.6 billion streams recorded last year.

The unveiling of a new code promising enhanced protections and transparency in streaming royalties for UK musicians earlier this year reflects a global recognition of the imperative to address the systemic challenges faced by artists in the digital era.

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