[Editor Charlie sez: Rather than rearranging the deck chairs, we think there are two separate issues with streaming rates. First and most important services need to exercise pricing power to increase the revenue pie or stop asking artists and songwriters to fund and invest in their growth strategy without getting stock or upside. Second, the method of allocating streaming royalties could change so that you don’t hear fans saying “Sick of my money funding crap.” Chris Castle’s “Ethical Pool” approach in the influential post “Arithmetic on the Internet” is an interesting interim step that allows both artists and fans to opt in to an allocation based on usage not market share. If that’s not fixed, it’s just rearranging the deck chairs and artist need to be careful they’re not being used by services.]
As MBW reported Friday (January 24), a group of managers and lawyers representing some of Germany’s biggest artists have written a joint letter to the leaders of the four largest music rights companies in the market – Universal, Sony, Warner and BMG.
The agenda of the letter, undersigned by representatives of 14 artists, “becomes clear very quickly”, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper (F.A.Z), which published a more detailed story on the matter today (January 26) on the front page of its business section. Translated, F.A.Z says that the artist reps are demanding “more money from the booming business [created by] music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music”.
What’s also clear from the letter, according to F.A.Z: unlike prior artist protests against streaming, the letter does not direct its ire towards digital platforms, but instead “attacks record companies” and is “of the opinion that [the majors] are taking too much of the streaming millions”.