News: Union Of Musicians & Allied Workers Launch “Justice At Spotify” Campaign Demanding Better Treatment For Artists

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Streaming services are no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to the poor payment policies they offer to the artists on their platform – the artists that are quite literally the backbone of their entire business models.

However, we live in a society where sadly the arts are consistently devalued, and companies continuously put profit before people; especially during a severe public health crisis, one would think that streaming services would attempt to help the devastated livelihoods of musicians around the world. Sadly, this is not a reality.

In a new campaign launched by Unions Of Musicians and Allied Workers entitled “Justice At Spotify” which demands that Spotify drastically change their business model to ensure that musicians on their platforms receive actual, liveable revenue from their streams amongst other issues. Currently, Spotify only pays musicians only $.0038 USD (£0,0029) to a penny (otherwise known as a cent) for each stream on the platform.

Spotify is the most dominant platform on the music streaming market. The company behind the streaming platform continues to accrue value, yet music workers everywhere see little more than pennies in compensation for the work they make.

The UMAW is also calling for a switch to a user centric model, which would allow for equal treatment between massive rights holders such as Sony BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Group (who are often prioritised) and independent labels, which would also guarantee that funds are directed straight to the rights holders on a per-stream basis with full transparency.  

In addition, UMAW is calling for an end to a practice dubbed “payola” which encourages labels and management to pay for streams. This essentially guarantees in and of itself that only the most wealthy of artists will earn any sort of real, liveable income amongst the other questionable practices.

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Spotify is the most dominant platform on the music streaming market. The company behind the streaming platform continues to accrue value, yet music workers everywhere see little more than pennies in compensation for the work they make. With the entire live music ecosystem in jeopardy due to the coronavirus pandemic, music workers are more reliant on streaming income than ever. We are calling on Spotify to deliver increased royalty payments to at least one cent per stream, adopt a user-centric payment model, show transparency in their practices by making all closed-door contracts public, reveal existing payola & end it all together, credit all labor in recordings and to end all legal battles intended to further impoverish artists. Sign onto our demands at unionofmusicians.org/justice-at-spotify 🖤

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UMAW is also demanding proper credit on the platform, as well as a pledge for the company to end legal battles with musicians and those working in the music industry over calls for proper payment from the streaming giant.

With the entire live music ecosystem in jeopardy due to the coronavirus pandemic, music workers are more reliant on streaming income than ever. We are calling on Spotify to deliver increased royalty payments, transparency in their practices, and to stop fighting artists.

For more information visit UMAW’s official website here.

Feature Image: Micheile Henderson via Unsplash

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