Streaming royalties are broken, Rashida Tlaib feels Congress can fix them – Meczyki.Net

never have been Becoming a musician is an easy time, but for many in and around the industry, the 21st century has presented one disaster after another for those hoping to make a living through music. The turn of the century saw record labels explode at a staggering rate, and it would be some time before some salvation came in the form of streaming services, which eventually offered an effective way to monetize music listening.

Examined in the harsh light of day, however, a bigger question emerges: Who benefits from these services? According to the Record Industry Association of America, streaming comprised 83% of all recorded music revenue in the US, by 2020, Calculating the earnings per stream by an artist can be a complicated task.

Different rights holders make different deals, and you have a lot of chefs for that money, including publishers, distributors, and labels. The generally accepted figure for Spotify is that Somewhere between $0.003 and $0.005 . among Artists are paid for every stream. This figure varies widely from service to service, although it is usually a fraction of a percent. Apples, in particular, Found out last April It pays around a penny per stream – a generous figure by streaming industry standards.

Of course, revenue rates have been a common complaint among musicians for more than a decade, but like many other labor issues, things have come to a head during the pandemic. More than two years of limited or no visits have brought the concerns into sharp relief. In late 2020, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) launched the Justice at Spotify campaign to raise awareness of the issue.

“With the entire live music ecosystem due to the coronavirus pandemic, music workers are more dependent on streaming income than ever before,” the organization noted at the time. “We are calling on Spotify to stop fighting against increased royalty payments, transparency in their practices, and artists.”

The union would eventually find a sympathetic ear in Congress in the form of Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib. Last week, reports surfaced That Congress woman was simultaneously moving a proposal aimed at setting up a royalty program so that musicians could be adequately compensated by way of royalties on a per-stream basis. “It was a meeting with the union of musicians and allied workers,” Tlaib tells Meczyki.Net. “One thing that kept coming up was what Congress could do to support their conservation efforts and to give musicians fair compensation for their work. To be respected in the field, especially From so many people in the industry who continue to have Monopoly and so forth. They did an amazing job coming to us with this offer and teaching my team and me how it works right now.

Tlaib says his team worked closely with UMAW on writing the proposal’s draft. “We do the same with our housing bills, trying to bridge the economic divide in our country. We let them lead us. I’m working for them, helping them, and on their side.” They’ve been teaching me a lot about monopolies in the industry, and how Spotify in particular is acting in bad faith in many ways.”

Composer and UMAW member/organizer (and.) musician,newspaper writer) Damon Krukowski said in a statement to Meczyki.Net:

Currently, music streaming is creating wealth for the streaming platform at the expense of musicians. UMAW is working to correct that imbalance. Rape Tlaib’s proposed law would guarantee a minimum payment to musicians playing on streaming recordings directly from the platform. The infrastructure for such payments already exists, as they already require satellite radio. The same principle needs to be applied to the streaming, fairness and consistency of recorded music.

Tlaib’s resolution will employ non-profit royalty group SoundExchange, as well as the Copyright Royalty Board, to calculate and distribute royalties. Both bodies already do similar work for webcasting and satellite radio. This, in line with streaming, would effectively operate under a complementary model.

With news of the resolution coming out in late July, word has spread around the industry. Tlaib said he has yet to speak directly to Spotify, explaining, “I understand they are aware.” She adds, “My priority is not the corporation. It probably never will. They have their lawyers, they have their advocates, they have their resources to advertise and they’re gaslighting people to say it’s all they will say when we continue to push this thing forward. My priority is that everything is doing well and is not being traded fairly in this market.”

Meczyki.Net reached out to Spotify for the story, but has yet to comment. CEO Daniel Ek has made waves in the past for suggesting that the streaming model may not — or may not — support simple musicians as record sales have done in the past. “Some artists who did well in the past may not do well in this future scenario,” he said 1 July 2019 interview“Where you can’t just record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.”

The motion for summons has started gaining momentum among the members of the House. Recently New York Representative – and fellow squad member – Jamal Bowman has given his support to the draft, which still awaits review by the House Legislative Council.

Tlaib told Meczyki.Net that he believes such legislation could also find bipartisan support in Congress.

“I think what happens is people don’t realize that many people affected by what’s happening are in all Congress districts. I don’t think you can go to a district that isn’t affected by it either. Or don’t understand how incredibly unfair this is. I know we’ll be able – especially with the work that the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers is doing outside of Congress – to make this a viable piece of legislation. For.

Tlaib’s own district – which includes western Detroit – can certainly lay claim to that influence.

“Detroit is a global music capital in the world: Motown, techno, jazz, gospel. I wanted to honor that, and honor the incredible work that played a huge part in the movement’s work,” she said. Music has been a huge part of my growing up in the social justice movement. It was a way of bringing people together in an attempt to understand not only human suffering, but the possibility of the ‘better’. It’s incredibly inspiring. And why not? Why don’t they deserve Spotify and other prominent people in the industry to pay them what they deserve?”