Music Royalties And Streamshare
Music Royalties – This past week music streaming service gargantuan, Spotify, released ‘Loud and Clear’. The aim of the website is to discuss how music royalties and Spotify work. How Spotify ultimately pays distribution companies these royalties. The idea then being that distribution will pay the musicians royalties they deserve.
What Are Music Royalties?
To avoid digging too deep into music industry terms again we’ll be brief. Music royalties can be summed up in one word; Payment. It’s not anywhere near that simple to go further on the topic, but now you at least have an idea. Aside from the Creator, one must consider anyone else included on the track/EP/Album. Other recording artists, songwriters, composers, music publishing companies and copyright holders.
There Are 4 Types Of Royalties In The Music Industry You Should Be Aware Of
- Mechanical royalties
- Public Performance royalties
- Synchronization royalties (sync)
- Print Music royalties
Mechanical royalties mean music income. Income for reproducing and distributing this copyrighted music work. All formats of playback would be acceptable examples of mechanical royalties. Examples including CDs, Vinyl and Streaming Services.
Public Performance Royalties
Public performance royalties mean music income for artists as well. When copyrighted works are performed, streamed or played publicly the musician receives royalties from its public use. Publishing Rights Organizations, or P.R.O.’s, will collect and dispense royalties in regard to public performance. Some examples of P.R.O.’s would be music publishers like B.M.I., A.S.C.A.P., or S.O.C.A.N.
Sync royalties mean musicians earn revenue for their copyrighted works through its use, or ’sync’ in visual media. Synchronization licenses make this possible. A sync license is deployed when the copyright owner lends the music for use in films, ads, TV, video games, etc. It’s worth noting the importance of a master use license here as well. Both are necessary to see a sync license through to completion.
Print Music Royalties
Print music royalties are scarce for the independent artist in the 21st century. This is unless you are working on material which is more traditional and requires sheet music. Since most of us are not distributing sheet music manuscripts with the hope of making a profit, this is why it is seen more infrequently nowadays.
Spotify’s Streamshare And Music Royalties
Well, for an effort at being straight-forward, I find it funny I need to click no less than three times to get an answer from the loud and clear page. Worth adding that click one was on a link titled, “What is Spotify’s Streamshare?”
Streamshare is, as defined by Spotify on Loud and Clear, “Every month, in each country we operate in, we calculate streamshare by adding up how many times music owned or controlled by a particular rights holder was streamed and dividing it by the total number of streams in that market.
So if an artist received one in every 1,000 streams in Mexico on Spotify, they would receive one of every $1,000 paid to rights holders from the Mexican royalty pool. That total royalty pool for each country is based on the subscription and music advertising revenues in that market.”
Uhm, Excuse Me? *Raising Hand* I’m Going To Need To Call Bogus On This One
The trouble enters here, when Spotify says, “…and dividing is by the total number of streams in that market.”
This means the top dogs in your market of the music industry define your music royalties. Spotify tries to deny this on the same page, but by using logic, it’s hard to see how this is not the case.
How Do We Reclaim Our Music Royalties?
Unfortunately, major change at Spotify or to music distribution laws needs to occur to change this. I don’t foresee either happening any time soon. What would be nice is if Spotify adopted a more one-to-one, direct monetization system. Similar to what Deezer has done for years. Also similar to what Soundcloud will be making universal shortly.
I commend Spotify for coming forth and admitting what streamshare was (finally). Other than that, this is another slap in the face from Ek and Co. A really unnecessary one that sings. Well, we can still make fun of Spotify’s CEO for being super bald and looking like a baby in a grown man’s body. Can’t take that away!
Spotify Falls Short
Spotify Falls Short – Spotify CEO and Owner Daniel Ek made an announcement Monday. An announcement he thought should warrant a pat on the back. While Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen announced they were co-headlining a podcast and stealing attention from Ek, the streaming service billionaire lauded a new functionality for Podcasters. This along with a few other pointless ‘enhancements’.
As we’ve come to anticipate from Ek in particular over other big services, he allowed Spotify to fall short. Nothing he announces is ever as dazzling as pitched to us. It’s all the same dry, redundant and garbage laden speech we’ve come to expect from the former uTorrent CEO. He was a millionaire by age fourteen and as time goes on, the Spotify founder only reminds me more and more of Lex Luther. He began out of touch, remains out of touch, and sadly doesn’t give a F***.
Spotify Falls Short Of Presenting Their Announcement Honestly
Honestly may not be the correct word. There was a conscious effort by Spotify and Daniel Ek to distract. There was an understanding that he was going to tout new services in attempt to shield the public from the facts. The facts being he is lining his pockets further while we struggle to eat.
Spotify is hot to trot regarding kissing up to Podcasters, thanks to its recent Megaphone acquisition. That part is not terribly surprising.
In addition, there’d been news of this but it’s so rude of the Company to pull it requires mentioning. They actually had the nerve to tout their new Streaming Ad Insertion technology, along with a Hi-Fi subscription tier.
You don’t need me to tell you this but neither sounds like they are helping artists, or priced even within a reasonable enough range where we’d want to accept this upsell
Spotify Falls Short Of Human Decency
I know, another shocker of a statement for this man who looks like a baby’s head, but throughout his whole appearance. Spotify is using the same BS they used YEARS ago to hook us musicians. Now their aim lies on Podcasters, as they leave us to further fend for ourselves.
All of this is said alongside another statement from the Spotify founder. He actually had the nerve to say this yesterday, with all this other news happening –
Ashley Carman, senior reporter, posed this to Ek, “Today your team announced that 7,500 creators are making at least $100,000 per year on your platform. How does Spotify plan to grow that number?
Daniel Ek, CEO, Spotify: Long term, it’s really about — as I kind of outlined in the remarks, as well, during the event — we think the space is so much larger than most people realize, both in the amount of consumers that care, the minutes that will be spent in audio, and the amount of creators that ultimately will create content. So it’s in the billions of consumers, and we believe more than 50 million creators will create.”
Spotify Falls Short Of Reality
Excuse me? First, that’s not addressing the question in the slightest. In addition, that is such an obtuse answer I’m white hot with frustration towards it. Like a total jerk, he unncessarily says to Ms. Carman, “… as I outlined in the remarks, as well, during the event -” – Only people who think their words are more important than they are speak this way.
Where it really goes off the rails, is when Ek essentially equates the entire listening world to users of Spotify. Also, even if his point made sense or had any relevancy, there’s no mention of paying creators. He just says they exist. I think reading between the lines is saying his statement was NOT as Monty Burns evil as we know it to be is not even needed. It sits pretty above the line in public view.
Spotify Will Always Fall Short.
Spotify will always fall short in regards to helping artists of any kind. They’re too busy scheming behind the scenes on how they will market and posture this stuff to give any attention to just paying it’s content creators anything short of reasonable. And I’m so very tired of hearing it. As well as pretending this Company is going to have some magical turn of conscience out of the blue.
It’s Not Going To Happen
There will be no action from any digital music streaming platforms proactively to remedy this scenario. Instead, in times like these, we must band together. If Daniel Ek cannot be bothered to speak to us directly, we must start the conversation. On March 15, 2021, the Union of Musicians will be staging an international ‘Justice At Spotify’ march. This is a protest to demand a measly one cent per stream for creators. I think that’s more than fair and easily within Spotify’s budget. I’ll see you in New York if you can make it! Otherwise, check out that link! They’re doing this at Spotify headquarters Globally. If you have any trouble finding or receiving information, please drop by the Contact Us page to drop me a line! Happy to help!