towards a new distribution of streaming revenues

It is an understatement to say that the study by the National Music Center (CNM) on the method of remuneration of artists whose works are broadcast on streaming platforms, made public on Wednesday January 27, is expected as the messiah . Artists around the world complain about being paid a pittance by Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Prime and especially YouTube. Today, 90% receive less than 1,000 euros per year, even if their titles are “streamed” up to 100,000 times, according to Aepo-Artis, the European association of societies for the management of performers’ rights.

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With the support of the Deloitte firm, the CNM dissects this passionate question: should the existing system be changed for a fairer one? The one applied since the origin of the platforms, the Market Centric Payment System (MCPS), consists in distributing the income generated by streaming to the beneficiaries according to their market share. This favors a handful of artists like Drake, Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Ariana Grande or Eminem, the most listened to, often on repeat, by a young audience.

According to US analytics firm Alpha Data, out of 1.6 million artists whose music was online on platforms in 2019, 1% captured 90% of overall listenings. And in these 1% of elected officials, 10% concentrated 99.4% of the tapping. Another option supported by Deezer, the User Centric Payment System (UCPS), would consist in paying only the artists listened to by the subscribers of the platforms. And not, like today, those they do not listen to.

No miracle

The Deloitte study claims that UCPS “Would have the effect of greatly reducing the royalties received by the top 10 artists”, who would lose 17.2% of income, “To stabilize the middle of the ranking with a slight increase in royalties received, and to increase the royalties of the least listened to artists by 5.2% (beyond the 10,000e rang) ».

If the increase percentages seem high a priori, they will apply to plates so low that artists will not see the color.

In addition, the UCPS would restore color to musical diversity, since a greater number of musical genres would benefit from significant increases, such as “Classical music (+ 24%), hard rock (+ 22%), blues (+ 18%), pop-rock (+ 17%), disco (+ 17%) or jazz (+ 10 %) “. On the contrary ” rap (21%), hip-hop (19 %) and, to a lesser degree, the afro-beat (9%) and the new age (7%) would see their royalties drop ”. In addition, titles put online more than eighteen months ago would be better paid.

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