In a memo sent to UMG staff on January 11, Universal Music Group‘s Chairman and CEO referenced UMG’s preference for a switch to an “artist-centric” model to transform the way that artists and rightsholders are paid by streaming services.

Today, UMG has announced an interesting alliance with Tidal that will see the two companies work together to explore what they call “an innovative new economic model for music streaming that might better reward the value provided by artists”.

Read the post on Music Business Worldwide

Press Release: @UMG and @TIDAL Partner to Work on Artist-Centric Royalties

New York, January 31, 2023 – TIDAL, the global music and entertainment platform, and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced that the two companies will work together to explore an innovative new economic model for music streaming that might better reward the value provided by artists and more closely reflect the engagement of TIDAL subscribers with those artists and music they love.

Streaming has revolutionized music, catalyzed industry growth, transformed the entertainment experience and provided incredible opportunities for engagement, to the benefit of artists and fans alike. As it has gained mass adoption over the past decade, there is more desire from all parties to look at how to best economically align fans’ interests with those of their favorite artists.

TIDAL and UMG will research how, by harnessing fan engagement, digital music services and platforms can generate greater commercial value for every type of artist. The research will extend to how different economic models could accelerate subscriber growth, deepen retention, and better monetize fandom to the benefit of artists and the broader music community.

“From day one, TIDAL has stood out as artist-first, leading with a premium subscription tier to pay artists more and experimenting with new ideas like fan-centered royalties to see if there are fairer and more equitable ways to get artists paid,” said TIDAL Lead Jesse Dorogusker. “We are setting aside our current fan-centered royalties investigation to focus on this opportunity for more impact. We’re thrilled to partner and learn along the way about the possibilities for more innovative streaming economics. This partnership will enable us to rethink how we can sustainably improve royalties’ distribution for the breadth of artists on our platform.”

“As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it’s become increasingly clear that music streaming’s economic model needs innovation to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future,” said Michael Nash, UMG’s Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer. “Tidal’s embrace of this transformational opportunity is especially exciting because the music ecosystem can work better – for every type of artist and fan – but only through dedicated, thoughtful collaboration. Built on deeply held, shared principles about the value of artistry and the importance of the artist-fan relationship, this strategic initiative will explore how to enhance and advance the model in keeping with our collective objectives.”

For more information contact:

TIDAL: Sade Ayodele, Head of Communications – sayodele@tidal.com

Universal Music Group, Global Communications: James Murtagh-Hopkins  james.murtagh-hopkins@umusic.com

Read the press release

@danrys: Tidal’s Sprint Deal: The Good, The Bad, The Unknown

After months of rumors about a possible acquisition, Tidal announced this morning it sold a 33 percent stake in the company to Sprint for $200 million, giving it access to the telecom company’s 45 million customers. It’s a bold move for a streaming service that, with its estimated (and disputed) 1 million paying subscribers, had fallen even further behind the sector’s leaders Spotify and Apple Music in number of paid subscribers (40 million and 20 million, respectively) in 2016, its first full year of operation since its March 2015 U.S. launch.

It’s the first major move in a year that is shaping up to be a pivotal one for the streaming industry….

Read the post on Billboard.