UK to Investigate Apple Music and Spotify Over Fair Pay for Artists

The UK Department of Culture, Media, and Sport is launching an inquiry into music streaming services, including Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube, to ascertain whether musicians are paid fairly (via BBC News).

The inquiry comes after complaints from artists that the payments they receive for their work are "negligible."

The growth of the streaming market "cannot come at the expense of talented and lesser-known artists," said Culture, Media, and Sport Committee chair Julian Knight MP.

The inquiry is set to begin next month, and will seek to gather evidence from industry experts, artists, record labels, and streaming services themselves.

‌Apple Music‌ pays the most at £0.0059 per stream, followed by Spotify at £0.002 to £0.0038 per stream. The lowest paying service is YouTube, which pays about £0.00052 per stream. These funds are then divided between rights-holders, resulting in artists receiving just 13 percent of revenue on average.

It is reported that in May, violinist Tamsin Little received £12.34 for millions of streams over a period of six months, and electronic artist Jon Hopkins made just £8 for 90,000 plays on Spotify.

Algorithms might benefit platforms in maximizing income from streaming but they are a blunt tool to operate in a creative industry with emerging talent risking failing the first hurdle.

We're asking whether the business models used by major streaming platforms are fair to the writers and performers who provide the material. Longer-term we're looking at whether the economics of streaming could in future limit the range of artists and music that we're all able to enjoy today.

In addition to the matter of pay for artists, MPs will investigate how streaming services' playlists and algorithms can distort the music market, and whether new music is being suffocated by the dominance of popular artists such as Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Drake.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
3 days ago at 07:14 am
The problem is, artists and labels should never have signed the contracts the streaming services offered, long before Apple got into the streaming market. It was a way to dilute the value of their songs and albums. It was always a horrible model. The problem is, now that ship has sailed, people have come to expect being able to stream anything and everything from the artists for $10 a month, and the artists are not going to get the album sales back.

If someone came to you and said, “I know you’re making thousands of dollars a month with album/song sales, but with our new streaming service, you can be making tens of dollars a month, just sign here!”, why jump on it?

I seem to recall the excuse given early on by Spotify and others was, “well, but if we pay the artists more the service won’t be profitable.” Well, that’s a sign that your service isn’t charging what it needs to. Somehow convincing your suppliers to sell to you at well below their cost, so your business model can be profitable to you, is a pretty neat trick. If your other argument is, “well, but the customers won’t pay more that $10 for our service, so you have to sell to us at below cost”, then maybe that’s a sign that you don’t have a viable business model in the first place. And rather than saying, “GTFO”, the artists/labels figured, what, they’d “make it up on volume?” By treating Spotify as a charity?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 days ago at 07:53 am


[IMG width="251px"]https://images.macrumors.com/images-new/macrumorsthreadlogo@3x.png[/IMG] ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/10/16/uk-to-investigate-apple-music-spotify-fair-pay/')

The UK Department of Culture, Media, and Sport is launching an inquiry into music streaming services, including Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube, to ascertain whether musicians are paid fairly (via BBC News ('https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-54551342')).




The inquiry comes after complaints from artists that the payments they receive for their work are "negligible."



The inquiry is set to begin next month, and will seek to gather evidence from industry experts, artists, record labels, and streaming services themselves.

Apple Music pays the most at £0.0059 per stream, followed by Spotify at £0.002 to £0.0038 per stream. The lowest paying service is YouTube, which pays about £0.00052 per stream. These funds are then divided between rights-holders, resulting in artists receiving just 13 percent of revenue on average.

It is reported that in May, violinist Tamsin Little received £12.34 for millions of streams over a period of six months, and electronic artist Jon Hopkins made just £8 for 90,000 plays on Spotify.



In addition to the matter of pay for artists, MPs will investigate how streaming services' playlists and algorithms can distort the music market, and whether new music is being suffocated by the dominance of popular artists such as Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Drake.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News ('https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/political-news.218/') forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: UK to Investigate Apple Music and Spotify Over Fair Pay for Artists ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/10/16/uk-to-investigate-apple-music-spotify-fair-pay/')

This will be funny! It will put a whole different angle on the spotify vs apple 30% fee thing. People will realise that teh major labels owned 20% of Spotify before they IPO'd and still own 5-10%. The labels have made sure they get paid very well out of Spotify and left the artists hanging really (who'd have thought that eh?).

Spotify are just gutted because they were going for an Amazon strategy: get all the users and become a monopoly and then start upping the prices once everyone locked in. Then apple came along, bought Beats so they had the music licenses and boom, you've got competition and now you'll never make any money from streaming music! Which is why they are going so hard for podcasts and screaming at apple over 30% (how many people even bother signing up through their phone anyway, doesnt seem to have hurt their business as they have tons of users).

Spotify as a business only makes sense as a monopoly or literally the distribution services run by the majors. Thats it.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 days ago at 09:31 am


I will admit to have almost no sympathy with some artists.
Why you ask?
Well, I. Like many of you, have to get up early in the morning, I drive to work, have to work all day, be creative with both my mind and my hands, I get paid for my time there, them I come home, and this continues over the entire year.

Say I spend a day making an item, I get paid for my time that day and that's that.
Tomorrow I want to get paid again, but that means, me using my mind/hands to create something else.

I don't make an item, then sit on my arse for the rest of my life being paid constantly for that work I did 5, 10, 30, 50 years ago.
If I want more money today, I have to do more work today.

Hence my struggle.
Does the guy who makes a hammer, expect to be paid for the rest of your life, perhaps 1 cent for every nail someone bangs in with that hammer, and the hammer is in essence free to copy.

So he spends 1 month crafting 1 hammer, than can be mass copied, and then expects to be paid for making that hammer for the next 60 years perhaps?

Hence me having VERY little sympathy for "some" artists.
You want more money ever day?
Well work like the rest of us and create new "product" ever day.
Don't expect more money when you stop "Producing"

Absolutely pathetic post by someone with literally no idea of the actual argument here.

The argument is that pre-streaming, it was relatively "easy" (perhaps not the right word to use, but "viable") to be a musical artist. I have friends who were very very successful, independent, made good money every year from music SALES and touring etc.

Then in the past 5 years, streaming services have essentially completely undercut many of their revenue streams. My friends could easily sell 100-150 CDs / vinyl at one 300 capacity show 5 years ago, and they could sell a few thousand albums on iTunes. Now, sales have dried up because people understandably see the value as a consumer to subscribe to Spotify / Apple Music. But the artist never sees the money. You could, fairly easily, make a decent respectable living when music was SOLD.

The latest streaming figures show that, to earn £8.35 per hour (minimum wage in the UK), it would take over 3000 Spotify streams AN HOUR!!! Or over 7000 YouTube plays per hour. It's RIDICULOUS. And that's as an independent artist with no record label. Artists on record labels have an even worse deal.

These services are worth nothing to anyone without the millions of songs that have been lovingly crafted over weeks months and years, and the fundamental truth is that the creators have been put right to the back of the queue for fair remuneration, whilst the CEOs a billionaires.

So getting back to your post... you want musical artists to create something new every day OF QUALITY. Let's pretend that that is even possible for a second, which we know it is not (not to any great quality). Then what... put it out into the world and what? It doesn't answer the problem. It just creates a world full of piss-poor art.

If an artist puts out one album of quality every year (which is just about doable). Let's for arguments sake say that pre-streaming they could easily sell 10,000 copies of that album at £10. That's £100,000. To make that same money from streaming you would require over 35 MILLION streams. The disparity is ****ing ridiculous.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 days ago at 07:49 am
Apple and Spotify are not the problem here. The artists labels signed the contracts not the artists. The labels have been ripping off artists since Noah was a boy. This fight should be between the artists and the labels.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 days ago at 07:42 am
In before Spotify stating that it's Apple's fault, and that Apple is the monopoly and bad guy here.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 days ago at 07:16 am
We have to make sure that Taylor Swift can afford to buy another mansion...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Samsung Mocks Apple for Ditching Power Adapters With iPhone 12 Lineup

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Samsung on its social channels is mocking Apple for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 lineup and other iPhone models, pointing out the fact that the Samsung Galaxy smartphones continue to ship with a power adapter. "Included with your Galaxy," reads a Samsung Facebook post that features a picture of a power adapter. Apple notably is no longer providing power adapters or...

iPhone 12 Pro Pre-Orders Already Selling Out With Delivery Times Pushing Into November

Friday October 16, 2020 6:35 am PDT by
Apple today opened pre-orders for the 6.1-inch models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro through its website and the Apple Store app, and estimated delivery times are already slipping into November for select configurations in the United States. Customers ordering a SIM-free/Pacific Blue/128GB version of the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, are already facing an estimated delivery window of...

HomePod Mini Cable is Non-Detachable, Ends With USB-C Connector for Use With Included 20W Power Adapter

Friday October 16, 2020 12:45 pm PDT by
While not detailed in the tech specs, MacRumors can confirm that Apple's new HomePod mini features a non-detachable power cable that ends with a USB-C connector for use with the 20W power adapter included in the box. With the switch to USB-C, the HomePod mini could potentially be powered by a wider range of devices and peripherals, ranging from MacBooks to USB-C battery packs with enough...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

Saturday October 17, 2020 4:05 am PDT by
Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that's stuck in your head, and then use the company's machine learning algorithm to try and identify it. In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you're done, the...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...

Apple Offering Free AirPods With iPhone 11 Purchase in India as Part of Diwali Celebration

Friday October 16, 2020 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple today launched a new Diwali promotion in India that will see the company providing customers with a set of AirPods with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model. The new iPhone 12 models are not part of the promotion. Apple is offering the standard AirPods With Charging Case free with purchase, but customers can choose to upgrade to the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or the AirPods Pro....

Apple Event to Unveil First Apple Silicon Macs Could Happen on November 17

Friday October 16, 2020 2:24 am PDT by
Apple will hold another digital event on November 17 to announce its first Apple Silicon powered Macs, according to frequent leaker Jon Prosser. Apple has already said that this year it intends to introduce the first Mac powered by an Apple Silicon chip instead of an Intel processor. One thing it hasn't revealed is the date it will be announced. According to Prosser's source, that date is No...

Apple Online Store Down Ahead of iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Pre-Orders

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:15 pm PDT by
Apple's online store is down ahead of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders, which are set to begin at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time in the United States. "You're... early," reads the Apple Store message when attempting to visit the U.S. website. "Pre-order begins at 5:00 a.m. PDT. Enjoy the extra sleep." Apple used to do new device pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, but since last year, has...

When You Can Pre-Order the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Every Time Zone

Thursday October 15, 2020 10:55 am PDT by
Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are set to kick off on Friday, October 16 at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time, which is a new launch time that Apple adopted as of last year. Apple is planning to make the new devices available in multiple countries around the world simultaneously, so we've made a guide to let MacRumors readers know when pre-orders will in their country. Pre-orders...