Most musicians make less than £200 a year from streaming

The numbers come as artists join the government’s inquiry into streaming royalties…

Most musicians make less than £200 a year from streaming
Nick Ruskell

Remember last week when everyone was sharing their Spotify Wrapped results? And then other people pointing out that, although having hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of streams looks very cool in a graphic you can share on Instagram, the royalty rates mean that much of this success doesn’t actually pay very well? This has been thrown into sharp focus as results of research by The Musicians Union and songwriting organisation, The Ivors Academy, found that 82 per cent of musicians who responded to their surveys earned less than £200 a year from streaming.

“This survey is further demonstration that the song and the songwriter are undervalued,” says Ivors Academy CEO Graham Davies. “Too much streaming money is going to the major labels, this is an outdated model and needs reform.”

READ THIS: Robb Flynn: Streaming can help save metal

Currently, a government inquiry is underway into the business model of streaming services and how artists are remunerated for their work. Musicians including Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien and Guy Garvey from Elbow have already taken part in the inquiry to help MPs understand the situation between artists and online providers, while Chic guitarist Nile Rogers will appear tomorrow.

This discussion isn’t new, of course. Although the publishing rights for Bob Dylan’s catalogue have just been sold for over $300 million, for many artists, royalties net very little. Indeed, to make U.S. minimum wage, an artist needs over 300,000 monthly streams. Last May, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor made his views known after Nils Lofgren of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band posted a picture of a royalty cheque for a whopping $7.91, saying “We simply don’t get paid for our work.”

"No-one points this out,” said Corey. “And while Congress has passed legislation to right this wrong, almost all the streaming services are APPEALING, which means we STILL don’t get paid for our work. But please people, by all means – stream away…"

clipping., meanwhile, have tweeted a more succinct breakdown of the recent streams vs money numbers…

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