The Covid-19 crisis has hit music performers hard. Gigs have been cancelled, festivals and performances postponed, and recording studios closed. It has brought into sharp relief the fact that musicians are sustained primarily by income generated by the live side of the music business and that streaming royalties are woefully insufficient.
It would take 53 million Spotify streams to break even on a € 24,000 loss, a figure that is unattainable for most musicians. In the UK, one in five respondents to an MU survey said they were considering leaving music altogether.
Musicians can no longer accept the record labels taking the biggest share of the income generated by their work and creativity
Launched in the UK by the MU and the Ivors Academy, the Keep Music Alive campaign aims to ‘fix streaming’. It calls for industry stakeholders to come together to agree an equitable, sustainable and transparent model for royalty distribution in the streaming era. The two organisations have set up a petition calling on their Government to urgently undertake a review of streaming to ensure that the music ecosystem is transparent and fair. FIM has written a letter to the PM Boris Johnson and to the Secretary of State for Culture Oliver Dowden, to support this legitimate initiative.
The unfairness of streaming business models is a concern for music performers worldwide. They can no longer accept the record labels taking the biggest share of the income generated by their work and creativity. We encourage all of them to join the thousands of UK musicians who have taken to Twitter to highlight this issue, using the hashtags #BrokenRecord and #FixStreaming.