Two leading organisations in the UK music industry are calling for artists to receive a greater cut of Spotify and streaming royalties, amid the economic uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis.
The Keep Music Alive campaign has been organised by the Musicians’ Union and The Ivors Academy, who are both calling for artists to receive a greater percentage of royalties after the widespread cancellation of gigs caused a huge void in the incomes of musicians.
As The Guardian reports, the campaign aims to highlight their predicament to politicians, streaming platforms and record companies across the UK.
A launch statement explains: “This crisis has brought into sharp relief the fact that creators and performers are sustained primarily by the live side of the music business and that streaming royalties are woefully insufficient.”
It is currently estimated that Spotify pays an average of only £0.0028 (or 0.28p) per stream to “rights holders”, which encompasses both record companies and theartists who put out their own music. YouTube is said to pay out £0.0012.
A similar online campaign called Broken Record has also been organised by Gomez’ Tom Gray, who is also a director of the Performing Rights Society, the organisation that oversees payment received by musicians from radio stations and music played in public places.
On May 24, Gray will also host a series of listening parties to raise money.
It’s time to #FixStreaming and keep music alive.
— Musicians' Union (@WeAreTheMU) May 11, 2020
The latest campaign comes as music venues across the UK face a battle for survival. Last week, the Music Venue Trust launched the Save Our Venues campaign, with a crowdfunding bid to prevent 556 independent UK venues from closure.
Following previous calls for £1 million in fundraising, the Save Our Venues website allows artists, music fans and communities to help individual venues. Over £100,000 was raised for individual venues within the first 48 hours of being online and also saw London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledge £450,000 to the Trust to help preserve venues in the capital.
“The number of venues in danger is going down rapidly, and is now under 80% due to the money generated by crowdfunding,” MVT CEO Mark Davyd told NME.
“London’s venues are now in a much better position. The campaign remains completely essential because we have no idea when this will end or what action the government will take. We’re at a point where all government support is exhausted and we’re still trying to keep things going. Even the furlough programme doesn’t work for large numbers of our venues, let alone the self-employed scheme.
“Saying that, we’ll hopefully soon be able to share a much lower number of the venues currently at risk.”