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"Terrifying": New data shows just how little artists make off streaming

21 April 2020 | 9:37 am | Emma Jones

New data that shows just how little musicians and songwriters are making off streaming has been described as "terrifying".

Illuminating and very concerning data has appeared online this week breaking down just how much -or little- artists are making off streaming services. Comparing the different streaming services and royalties paid from each, the data shows the average payout per stream, the number of streams to earn one pound and number of streams to earn just one hour of the UK's minimum wage and the numbers paint a "terrifying" picture.

The data, collated by Twitter user @thetrichordist, was shared by Tom Gray, Director of royalties collection service PRS for Music. The chart shows that the not only do artists cop a raw deal across all streaming platforms, the difference between platforms is also concerning. While Amazon requires 970 streams to make an hour of the UK's minimum wage, Spotify requires over 3000. For the same amount, an artist needs over 5400 streams on Pandora and a whopping 7267 streams on YouTube.

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Gray also shared a further breakdown showing how worse off songwriters are as well. The table compared the estimated average payout to the songwriter per stream, the number of streams for the songwriter to earn one pound and the number required to earn a day's worth of the UK minimum wage. It also brought to light how common it is to have more than one songwriter on a song and included how many streams are required if there was three songwriters to a song. It is not pretty.

Gray has now put the call out to have the hashtag #BrokenRecord pick up steam as a call to arms for those who believe this is indeed a broken business. Gray has been a fierce advocate for improving the recording industry and calling for a change in the way artists can make money off their art, and just weeks ago published an extensive thread calling for this very change (read here).

The topic has been picking up more and more support as the charts are further shared, with grime's JME getting behind the cause overnight. This news also comes to light as online music retailer Bandcamp announced they will be waiving their usual revenue fees for 24 hours to make sure artists selling music and merch through their site get 100% of fans' money. This will be the second time Bandcamp has done this after their first 24 hour period saw a record-breaking $4.3millionUSD spent on the site in just 24 hours.

[Via MixMag]

Words by Emma Jones

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