The artists’ revenues have not come from the sale of CDs and cassettes for a long time because the music has moved to digital format. And the big beneficiaries are not even artists, but giants like Apple Music and Spotify.
The world is spinning in the digital age and all areas need to adapt. Music, then, was no exception. The artists’ songs are released on digital platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube and that’s where the revenue comes from. Only they are not as big as you think. Because the bulk actually comes from concerts or other commercial partnerships.
So, you’d think that when you subscribe to listen to the latest songs, you’re actually helping your favorite artist. Well, it’s not like that and that’s why you might feel fooled, because you think you’re helping that artist. UK lawmakers know this and want to take a closer look at the digital platform business model, writes BBC.
The British parliamentarians want to launch an investigation in this area to see if, indeed, the artists are paid correctly for the work they do there.
Apple Music and Spotify, suspected of “stealing” artists
Streaming is now an important source of revenue for artists, especially since most of them have not been on stage to hold a concert for months, due to the pandemic. The British press writes that the streaming market generated, last year, revenues of over 1 billion pounds.
However, artists complain that they receive small sums. And he might even be right. Here, for example, are the estimates.
Spotify is believed to pay the artist 0.002 pounds for each listen, while Apple Music pays somewhere around 0.0059 pounds. YouTube pays at least -0,00052 for each play, noting that the system on the Google platform is slightly different and harmonized depending on the ads that appear. Only in the case of the songs, they are non-existent, since most have up to 5 minutes, so they do not display during listening.
Well, all this money generated by the streaming platforms is then shared between everyone who put their shoulder to that piece: production houses, composers, lyricists and then the artists themselves, those who are visible. Usually, one artist earns only 13%, while the rest goes to the record company or publishers.
Jon Hopkins, for example, was quoted by the BBC as saying that he received only £ 8 for over 90,000 views on Spotify. The mechanism would be something like this:
Are artists paid correctly for their work?
Well, the numbers don’t lie, and at first glance, they don’t seem to be paid properly. That is why the British parliamentarians decided to start this investigation. The survey will begin in November and will focus on the business model of streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify.
Equally, beyond investigating how money is distributed, the British Parliament will also look at how playlists and algorithms influence searches. In this context, the music of lesser-known artists may be overshadowed by big names.
“We wonder if these business models used by the big streaming platforms are right for artists, for those who provide content there. In the long run, we analyze whether the platforms use various tricks to limit the content, the number of artists and songs we enjoy “, said one of the parliamentarians who support this approach.
Such a survey, regardless of the results it will have, is welcome in the context in which large digital companies give the impression that they are thinking more about the revenues obtained than what and how they deliver to users. A closer look at the practices of giants such as Facebook, Google and, lo and behold, Apple Music and Spotify is a must.