MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Advice on everything from getting your music heard to setting up a label and royalties.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by N i g e l »

If you skim a couple of sections thats probably enough to get the gist of the proceedings, dad jokes, pros and cons, and the complexities.

My immedite take away was that I didnt realise that P.W. is ex- Runrig & Big Country.
User avatar
N i g e l
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2330 Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:40 pm Location: British Isles

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by blinddrew »

I'm looking again actually, I fear I may have been pre-emptive in my initial analysis.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18263 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by blinddrew »

General thoughts:
Why don't they have a copy of the bill* on the page relating to the discussion? :thumbdown:
There's a copy here by the way: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/b ... 210019.pdf

Mike Wood trying to compare singles sales to streams as if they're remotely the same. :roll:
Pete Wishart being out by a factor of 100 on the payment rates for iTunes and Apple music. :!:
Whole thing is still predicated on a misunderstanding of the fundamental purpose of copyright. The purpose is to encourage the creation of new material, the mechanism is a government-granted, time-limited monopoly.
Major labels still unwilling to examine alternatives (unsurprising).
Dean Russell on a meaningless nostalgia trip.
Angela Richardson admitting breaking copyright law (as we all did) by recording songs off the radio.
Dean Russell talking about not wanting to do a disservice to up and coming musicians but making no mention of one of the easiest ways they could help musicians in this country: accept the EU's proposal to allow touring bands/orchestras. :headbang:
Graham Stuart points out that just because the industry says it'll be terrible doesn't mean that it actually will. :thumbup:
Dean Russell finally getting to the point about the breadth and depth of people involved in the music industry.
Julie Elliott still pushing the idea that musicians 'deserve' to be able to make a living. Then sounding shocked about how opaque the music labels are with their money routing.
Julie Elliott the first to actually get to one of the actual changes in the bill, the 20-year notice period.
Andy Carter asks if that would block the use of that track and what happens with any royalties to other musicians? I would say he hasn't read the bill but see the asterisk at the bottom.
Esther McVey (of all people) actually on point about the reduction in piracy brought about by widespread streaming.
Also gets into some serious stuff about the consolidation of the business into three major labels, three publishers and the lack of independence and competition.
Also good point about the differing speed of payments. This is looking scarily like a minister who might actually understand their brief. :o
Good points on the difference between licence and sale and the effect of the lack of transparency in the process.
McVey then continues that the conservatives don't believe in monopolies and oversized organisations - oh the irony! Then disappears down a weird tangent about only investing in already successful acts.
Graham Stuart interrupts to correct that part.
Seema Malhotra goes on about the global impact of british music but again no mention of the difficulties in touring Europe now. Seems to be the first to recognise that musicians have been ripped off for decades now and this isn't just related to streaming or the pandemic.
Lots of talk about how music is a global business but no recognition of how that might impact payment rates.
Andy Carter talking about how 'equitable remuneration' as it is defined isn't going to be the panacea that the bill drafters think it will.
I'm stopping now because no-one is reading this, but I'm really not sure this is going to add anything to the table. Spotify is based in Sweden, Amazon, Apple, Tidal, Youtube etc are all based in the US. That's where the discussion needs to happen.

* Does anyone else find this practically unreadable? I'm pretty au-fait with corporate gobbledygook but this is nuts. A few years ago the government did a really good job on making sure that all .gov websites were well written in plain English; we should do the same with the law and government bills. The supporting notes are much better: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/b ... 0019en.pdf The bills should be written like this.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18263 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by James Perrett »

Drew, your points about touring are valid but nothing to do with the subject matter of this bill.

There is a big gap in this thread where we missed the publication of the culture select committee's report into this subject back in October. The bill is an attempt to implement some of the recommendations but, like most private member's bills, probably won't become law. I understand that there may be moves afoot to introduce a government sponsored bill which will stand more chance of success but may well water down the recommendations.

There's a story here...

https://completemusicupdate.com/article ... arliament/

Which seems to sum things up fairly well.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 11976 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by RichardT »

I’ve read a few bills and they tend to be like that. I think it’s because they are like the computer code of the law, intended to be clear and explicit to the legal experts who use them at the cost of being clear to non-experts. The accompanying notes are like the comments in the code, explaining what is going on in plain language.

I don’t think ‘plain English’ bills would work as they would be ambiguous.
RichardT
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1903 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by blinddrew »

James Perrett wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:13 pm Drew, your points about touring are valid but nothing to do with the subject matter of this bill.

True, but they would have been relevant to the debate as touring and live revenue were mentioned on several occasions.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18263 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by blinddrew »

RichardT wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:40 pm I’ve read a few bills and they tend to be like that. I think it’s because they are like the computer code of the law, intended to be clear and explicit to the legal experts who use them at the cost of being clear to non-experts. The accompanying notes are like the comments in the code, explaining what is going on in plain language.

I don’t think ‘plain English’ bills would work as they would be ambiguous.

The thing is that we are all subject to these bills. We should be able to understand the laws we are subject to.
I also disagree on the plain language point. Yes, there are specific legal terms that might be difficult to translate unambiguously, but I don't think the bulk of the texts couldn't be re-written in a much more understandable way.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18263 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by blinddrew »

James Perrett wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:13 pm There is a big gap in this thread where we missed the publication of the culture select committee's report into this subject back in October. The bill is an attempt to implement some of the recommendations but, like most private member's bills, probably won't become law. I understand that there may be moves afoot to introduce a government sponsored bill which will stand more chance of success but may well water down the recommendations.

There's a story here...

https://completemusicupdate.com/article ... arliament/

Which seems to sum things up fairly well.

Sounds like the first debate was much like the second. Again there's a certain humour in Whittingdale saying changing signed contracts isn't the conservative way of working - he may want to let Lord Frost know... ;)
Thanks for the link. :thumbup:
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18263 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by merlyn »

I saw the select committee on BBC Parliament at the time. Tom Gray was a witness and had a simple and sane solution -- a User-Centric Payment System.

That means if a person paid their £5 subscription and only listened to e.g. my music I would get the fiver. If they listened to half my music, and half Taylor Swift, Taylor would get £2.50, and I would get £2.50.

Simple and fair, no?

The record labels don't like that, and they negotiate deals, meaning the record companies decide how user's subscriptions are divided up.

Tom Gray is active with the #BrokenRecord campaign, and his written evidence to Parliament is here :

https://committees.parliament.uk/writte ... 10156/pdf/
merlyn
Frequent Poster
Posts: 515 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by RichardT »

I like that idea, Merlyn. Actually there are two ideas there…

The first is that all artists should be treated the same, irrespective of label (if they have one) and distributor. That’s a great idea.

The second is giving different amounts to the artist per play depending on how much music a subscriber listens to in total, and how much they listen to a given artist in particular. I can see the good sides of that, but it’s also a little untransparent and unpredictable.
RichardT
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1903 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: MPs to investigate whether artists are paid fairly for streaming music

Post by blinddrew »

SoundCloud are experimenting with this approach at the moment. I think they call it proportional distribution or similar. Their assumption, based on their data, is that it will result in more payments to smaller artists. It will interesting to see how that works in practice.
It certainly feels like a better option than the equitable remuneration approach being proposed.

Personally I think we'd be better off by ripping up the whole copyright framework and starting again for the digital era, going right back to the basic principles of what it's for in the first place.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18263 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: MPs to investigate why artists aren't paid fairly for streaming music

Post by merlyn »

RichardT wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 1:22 pm The second is giving different amounts to the artist per play depending on how much music a subscriber listens to in total, and how much they listen to a given artist in particular. I can see the good sides of that, but it’s also a little untransparent and unpredictable.

It's not completely transparent at the moment. The £0.0004 per stream is transparent in that it is out in the open and everyone knows that's what one stream gets. But the money from the £0.0004 is the smaller part. A Spotify subscription is £10. Let's say Spotify take half. To spend £5 at £0.0004 per pop would take 12,500 streams, or over 400 streams per day.

1,000 streams per month, or over 30 per day would be a lot for one Spotify user and that comes to 40p. So the bulk of the money is distributed in other ways that aren't made public -- e.g. deals between Universal Music and Spotify.
merlyn
Frequent Poster
Posts: 515 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.
Post Reply