Over 80% Of Artists Earned Less Than £200 From Streaming Platforms In 2019

Over 80% Of Artists Earned Less Than £200 From Streaming Platforms In 2019

December 10, 2020

According to a new poll by The Ivors Academy and the Musicians' Union, the UK's independent body for music creators, it has been discovered that 82% of musicians earned less than £200 from streaming in 2019.

The rise of streaming platforms brought fresh hope that the days of labels exploiting talented musicians were soon to become a thing of the past. However, the survey conducted by the Ivors Academy and the Musicians' Union, which asked their existing members to comment anonymously on their experiences of streaming, found a further 92% said less than 5% of their earnings came from streaming last year. 43% said that insufficient income from streaming forced them to get a job outside of music.

Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said: "This survey is further demonstration that the song and the songwriter are undervalued. Too much streaming money is going to the major labels; this is an outdated model and needs reform."

Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the Musicians' Union, said: "These statistics show that music streaming does not play its part in supporting the careers of the vast majority of creators and artists on whose work it relies. We have to make the economics of streaming fairer; improved deals for artists, a bigger share of revenue for songwriters and an income stream for the first time for non-featured musicians."

This news is particularly disappointing given that revenue gained from the art of upcoming music creators is key to ensuring sustainability in their field, and such injustices risk the potential of their careers. The UK government is currently conducting an investigation into the economics of music streaming and the existing streaming business model. Evidence is currently being accepted as part of their investigation with a deadline of Friday 11th December.

A government enquiry also took place on Tuesday this week, where Nile Rodgers spoke with MPs, calling for a revolutionary change to the streaming business model. He said blame for the issue needed to be taken by the three major labels — Sony, Universal and Warner Music — who he said needed to do more to give artists a fair share of streaming revenue. "When you see the disparity," he said, "it's just absolutely ridiculous."

Regardless of where blame lies, it's hoped that this is the beginning of a marked change within the music industry that can benefit the futures of upcoming musicians.

Words: Ian Opolot