Musicians get half their royalties from streaming services, record company boss says

Beggars Group boss says services like Spotify have created a 'friction-less' experience

Some musicians now get over half their income from song royalties on streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer, a top record label boss has said.

Martin Mills, who is chairman of Beggars Group, which includes record labels XL, Rough Trade, 4AD and Matador, has said that streaming services have changed the way people listen to music, allowing users to experience new music in a “friction-less” way which makes them more likely to experiment and delve into artists’ back catalogues.

He also claimed that Beggars Group wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for digital sales and streams, but that the sale of physical copies of music was still important.

“Some of our catalogue artists earn more from streams than downloads of individual tracks or any other format,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “If we didn’t have digital we wouldn’t have a business.”

He continued: “Physical is still important to us, but the lesson we learned over last few years is that you have to strike a balance between giving people what they want on the one hand and actually being a business and charging for content.”

Mills’ comments come as digital music sales overtook physical sales, such as CDs, for the first time earlier this year.