Music streaming has come a long way since it’s inception with more than 1-trillion songs being streamed in only the first six months of this year, more than was streamed in the entirety of 2014 (according to Next Big Sound.)
With the massive rise in music streaming there has also been increasing tensions over the fair treatment of artists receiving a low percentage of royalties with some services as can be seen by the recent reveal that Beatport is paying artists 5% royalties.
PRS for Music, an organisation representing over 111,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, has launched a campaign by the name of “Streamfair” with the intent of making the streaming environment a better environment for the artists who make it up.
Robert Ashcroft, PRS for Music Chief Executive, said: “It is unacceptable that some online content providers use ‘safe harbour’ provisions either to make token payments or avoid the need to pay a license altogether by insisting that they are not liable for content even though their business models are predicated on monetising the creative works they carry.
“Furthermore, it’s not right that legitimate fully licensed digital service providers have to endure the resulting unfair competition, which is stifling their growth and potential profitability. Unfair competition with free services is a problem that will not fix itself and requires intervention from the legislator… that’s why Streamfair is a timely and crucial campaign.”
The Streamfair campaign has 4 main areas in which PRS for Music want to affect and see improvement in:
- Copyright legislation: Clarity is needed on who can benefit from ‘safe harbour’ provisions. Originally introduced to support investment and innovation for digital providers, it is being used more widely by a number of digital content services to build multi-billion pound services.
- Online Licensing: Supporting and collaborating with dynamic, legitimate online businesses to ensure they get to market quickly, thrive and scale.
- Promoting the value of music creators: Successful, innovative and legitimate digital service providers are vital to the ongoing success of the UK and global music market. Together with music creators both contribute enormously to the cultural and commercial success of the UK’s overall economy. Those who make music must be recognised and rewarded for their work.
- Education: Music isn’t free. By tackling some of the questions about streaming, the campaign will help people understand that those making music should be recognised for their work.
You can show your support of the Streamfair campaign using the hashtag #streamfair on Twitter and you can find out more here.