Music industry workers have combined forces in order to demand that Spotify take better care of their workers.
The “Justice at Spotify” campaign created by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, pushes for radical changes to the business model of the popular music streaming site. The Union is composed of producers, Djs, road crew and musicians as well as others in order to “collectively take resources and power from the few wealthy companies that dictate our industry.”
Currently their petition has accumulated 6,750+ signatures from workers in the industry. The demands of the UMAW consist of a royalty streaming rate of 1 cent minimum in addition of payments distributed via user-centric payment model. They also demand increased transparency with regards to closed-door contracts as well as label deals with the removal of pay-to-play schemes such as “payola” that are used for the playlists curated by the streamers, terminating legal battles aimed at artist and credit for everyone involved in the recordings.
Currently, Spotify uses a pro-rata system that divides generated money between artists depending on streams for royalties, as opposed to a per-stream model. Provided Spotify does shift to a user-centric model, it would mean that the holders of the rights will get paid directly via per-stream basis. The largest rights holders Spotify has, those being Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and Warner Music Group would need to have their own say in this move.
These particular rights holders possess monolithic catalogues of songs that guarantee monthly pay from Spotify. In addition to that, the secret negotiations divide the royalties prior to any independent label can stream a song.
The UMAW also released a statement to be delivered to Spotify “via socially distanced delivery” that they will “escalate” their efforts provided the demands are not answered.
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