Working Group on Music Streaming
The scope of the Music Streaming Working Group is to address all the most relevant issues for composers related to streaming. At ECSA, there have been plenty of discussions as well as a position paper about streaming in the past but the need to solve issues related to streaming and the composers’ world is still present. ECSA’s Music Streaming Working Group will elaborate on concrete solutions to improve the remuneration for music authors.
Members of the Working Group on Music Streaming
- Marek Hojda, Composer (Poland)
- Crispin Hunt, Songwriter (The United Kingdom)
- Arriën Molema, Songwriter and musician (The Netherlands)
- Darko Staničić, Composer (Croatia)
- Tobias Stenkjaer, Songwriter (Denmark)
- Aku Toivonen, Composer and singer (Finland)
- Natalia Vergara, Songwriter and singer (Spain)
The Working Group held its first meeting in April 2022 and put forward a few topics in which members believe there is a need for change, among which: the Streaming Market and the Value of Songs, the Digital Service Providers (DSPs), as well as the Cost of Streaming and Disparities between Steaming Services.
Sharing the Pie
The most urgent issue for composers is related to the royalties split coming for streaming. As of now, the publishing percentage coming from a stream is equal to 15% of every euro coming out. Usually, publishers and writers split performance and mechanical royalties 50/50 with both halves being called publisher’s share and writer’s share. More often than not, the writer even gets a portion of the publisher’s share. On the Master side however, the split is not so generous as record labels usually get more than 50% of the recorded music income, very often even more than 60%. Since both sides of the market are controlled by the same three companies, they put pressure on streaming platforms to favor the master side which brings more income to them. This is an international discussion as many industry experts argue that streaming cannot be dealt with as if it was a sale, a download or even a broadcast. The scope here is to find a suitable solution to redefine streaming royalties.
Growing the Pie
As “growing the pie” would be beneficial for every player and it might be easier to get people on board with this solution. Streaming subscriptions have always been at the same rate since the beginning which means that with time, currencies lose value with inflation, hence a stream costs less and less. Moreover, the cost of a stream is decreasing even more because of the fact that the pieces released on Spotify everyday exceed the number of new subscribers.
The metadata issues are at the core of every composer not getting paid what they are owed. In fact, ECSA has been supporting among with many other large players of the music industry such as BMG, PRS, Spotify, CIAM and more, a new pledge movement called Credits Due which is an initiative to bring the music industry together to ensure that complete and accurate song metadata is attached to all recordings at the point of creation. The Music Streaming Working Group will be closely working together with the Technology and AI Working Group on this issue.