Fair pay for streaming imminent?

In the music industry, paying to be promoted is one of the oldest practices in making an artist gain mainstream media recognition and success. The medium may have changed, but the practices remain the same as they have since the birth of this industry, partly due to the industry’s traditionally strong ties with the underworld. Payola was an illegal, early 20th century practice of paying for radio airplay in the US. Similar tactics are commonplace across all promotional activities in the industry. the practice has been responsible for the success of many music industry careers and continues to be so to this day.

Most of the major streaming platforms generate millions every year while paying, on average, approximately £0.001 per stream. Although Spotify has become the public scapegoat of this practice, this questionable procedure is one that most, if not all our well-known music streaming platforms practice.

The Fix Music Streaming movement will have to include consumers buying music directly from the producers themselves to make it effective. If producers were to refusing to upload their material on sites that offer next to nothing for streaming, this strategy could realistically work, given some time,

2020 saw Atlas release ‘Lifetime’ exclusively on www.atlascorsini.com, in a stand against unethical business practices from major online music streaming services providers.

There are numerous examples of effective tactical consumer boycotting of unethical companies that have ushered in a sea of change in attitudes towards responsible consumerism, giving some revenue to smaller producers, loosening the tight grip of major corporations, and the monopolization on promotion in the digital public arena.

We look forward to a day when creatives finally get paid for the content they produce and to witnessing government-backed policy and legislation being put into place protecting both songwriters and music producers alike.

It’s pretty safe to say that larger marketing budgets lead to greater exposure, which is why media airtime, radio airplay and, larger-scale marketing exercises have always come hand in hand. Essentially this scenario creates an unlevel playing field.

We hope the day will come hopefully, sooner rather than later, when all creative industries pay creatives in fair proportion to actual revenue generated from their art.

This isn’t a Music Industry-specific issue. Consumers are slowly, but surely, becoming intolerant and unwilling to support unethical company practices. However, there are still many people whose king is convenience. A shift in consumer mentality must happen before we can shake up the current status quo.

Now is the time for a sea change, and we believe that change will emerge when both the producer and consumer build a new environment of exchange, placing more value on the producer than the curator.

Any comments or opinions on this topic – get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

https://musiciansunion.org.uk/campaigns/fix-streaming-and-keep-music-alive