In the name of getting artists paid fairly, Deezer are adopting a UCPS system that completely changes streaming payouts.
Music streaming has revolutionised the music industry, in many amazing ways and as well as fairly viewed downsides. It has opened up the endless world of music to everyone, but it’s meant artists earn less than a typical album sale, however in turn it resolved the overbearing music piracy crisis.
Whatever your thoughts on music streaming, you can’t deny it is now how the majority of the world listens to music – and it’s only getting bigger. So seeking ways for artists to get paid more fairly within that realm is a major next step – and to do this Deezer are completely switching up their streaming model.
Deezer are launching a User-Centric Payment System (UCPS). This model won’t change how much listeners pay, or even how much Deezer earns from the shares. What it does change is how every subscribers streams are valued on an individual basis.
On the current model, adopted across the board by major streaming services, streams are all collected into a big pot and shared out equally. So, each listeners streams are part of a bigger whole that decides the percentage of payout for the artists you listen to.
Deezer display this method clearly below:
It seems fair at first, don’t you think? The more you’re streamed the more money you make. However Sasha has been listening exclusively to Artist 2, yet most of their subscription payment is going to an artist they’ve never listened to. This is where UCPS comes in to pay subscription costs based on each listeners’ actual streaming.
Here’s how it will work on Deezer now with a UCPS:
This will make a massive change for smaller and independent artists. If you’re a local band and your streams are small compared to massive artists then you’re not going to earn much of the pie. But when your fans are listening to you more than anyone else and their personal streaming payout percentages represent that you’re immediately getting a fairer share.
This is a major change to the way that artists get paid whilst maintaining the same cost to user and service. I personally hope that we see similar systems proliferate further to other streaming services so that in the age of music streaming we can prioritise treating artists as fairly as possible.