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Musicians' Union demands new pay deal from Spotify

22/07/2013 12:46

Union launches bid for higher royalties for its 30,000 members following Spotify boycott by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.
Britain's biggest musicians' union has entered the growing row over Spotify, demanding that the music streaming service draw up a new minimum pay deal for artists.
The Musicians' Union, which has more than 30,000 members throughout the industry, said it was pushing for a collective pay agreement modelled on the royalties paid by BBC and commercial radio stations. Spotify pays artists as little as 0.4p per stream, which means that a song that had a million plays would earn its performer just £4,000.
By contrast a three-minute song played on Radio 2 generates £59.73 for the songwriters and another similar sum to be split between the label and the performing artists. This 50/50 split is being advocated by the union, although the remuneration itself would be significantly more modest.
The latest row over Spotify's royalty payments began last week after Radiohead's frontman, Thom Yorke, and the band's producer, Nigel Godrich, pulled songs from the streaming service, the latter complaining that "new artists get paid fuck all with this model".
Stephen Street, who produced Blur's Parklife album, offered a swift riposte, accusing Yorke of hypocrisy, pointing out that Radiohead devalued digital music by allowing fans to download their In Rainbows album free in 2007.
John Smith, general secretary of the Musicians' Union, said the consensus among its thousands of members was that royalty payments made by Spotify, which offers unlimited access to 20m songs to subscribers who pay monthly fees starting at £5, were "unfair".

Source: https://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/20/spotify-radiohead-musicians-union-rights