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Life Experience

Spotify needs a new formula for sharing revenue with musicians

Spotify dominates the music industry of the world with its music streaming service.

In December 2020 it is a company valued at 60 billion dollars.

Currently 90% of Spotify’s huge revenue goes to just 1% of the musicians on its books. 99% of musicians share the remaining 10 percent of revenue. This cannot be right.

The winners are being paid excessively whilst equally talented artists, serving local or national audiences receive a pittance. Of course “top musicians” are talented, hard-working and bring pzazz to their music, but they are being paid primarily for being well-known and well publicised by the media companies that manage them.

Most of these superstars began their musical careers as unknowns. They may have been lucky enough to have been picked up up.by a major record label. The Beatles did this when they were on the verge of giving up the effort to find a backer. They almost missed out. But for that last minute stroke of luck the Beatles might have ended their careers as a local Liverpool band that lasted just a few years.

Until quite recent times musicians could earn useful sums of money through the sales of LPS and CDs. Record labels may not have the financial resources they once had.The record market has now, for all practical purposes, disappeared, yet to compete, in the world of Spotify and music streaming, newcomers find themselves at a huge disadvantage.

The amount paid for each stream of a track varies from country to country. In the UK the amount paid by Spotify is £0.0028. (NME) Managements and promoters may take a large proportion of this tiny sum.

It must be in the interest of Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and others to encourage and develop new talent and this can surely be done partly by introducing a sliding scale of payment. For example, the first thousand streams could be paid at a very much higher rate than the next 1000 and when the streams of music go beyond, say, 100,000 the payment per stream could drop further. In that way more money would be channelled to emerging and other professional musicians and the excessive money paid to superstars could be reasonably reduced.

David Roberts. www.davidrobertsblog.com
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9 December 202

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David Roberts

Writer, publisher, music promoter

Born in 1942, I now have time to enjoy life more widely and reflect on my experience, interests, and contemporary events.

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