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BEGGARS PASSES ITS ARTISTS 50% OF STREAMING REVENUE: WHY ARE RIVALS LESS GENEROUS?
Given half a chance
LABELS n BY TIM INGHAM
Beggars Group has told Music Week that it pays a generous 50% of all revenue accrued from music streams to its artists and managers - and suggested that if rival labels matched it, acts could get three times the money they currently receive from the likes of Spotify.
A meagre 10–15% of streaming revenues are reportedly passed from some labels to artists as royalties, often due to traditional ‘sale’-based contracts.
Some managers accuse labels of a lack of transparency – criticising NDAs which block them from seeing certain details of artist accounts.
“When we looked at the streaming models we felt that splitting this revenue 50/50 as licensed income was the right thing to do - we couldn’t justify it as a ‘sale’,” Beggars director of strategy Simon Wheeler told Music Week. “It really affects how many streams artists need to achieve in order to earn the same amount as from a download or physical purchase.
“If all labels applied the same approach it would definitely make things simpler: artists
Xtra incentive: The xx are given 50% of all streaming revenues on a licence basis by Beggars could be seeing two or three times their current income per play. Some of the figures [that artists receive] are frankly offensive and if they are true it’s no surprise many people are complaining that streaming doesn’t pay.”
Mercury nominee Jon Hopkins recently claimed that he received £8
for 9,000 plays on Spotify.
Wheeler’s comments come after a fiery panel discussion at a MusicTank event in London, where Pink Floyd co-manager Paul Loasby revealed that in 2007 and 2008, Pink Floyd attracted 14 million plays on various ad-funded streaming services – which translated into a total payment of “just over five figures”. Loasby unsuccessfully requested that Floyd be placed on Spotify’s paid-for service in 2010, but exempt from its free ad-supported platform.
Wheeler and Loasby were joined on the panel by the likes of Spotify’s head of content Steve Savoca, who conceded that there were “a great deal of growing pains” as the firm strives to educate artists on payment.
Savoca added: “We’re being as transparent as we can. We will be publishing information that we hope explains the model better. We can only go so far because we don’t control the rest of that value chain [once money goes to labels]. But we won’t play this out in the press. We’ve devoted staff to comb the world to meet with artists directly.”
Wheeler said that Beggars was “bullish” about the future of streaming, revealing that
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She Found Love: Rihanna tops 15m record sales in UK
The UK’s love for Rihanna has hit a new peak: the Barbadian star has sold a total of 15 million albums and singles in the domestic market – with five million coming in the last 12 months.
Albums Loud and Talk That Talk have sold more copies in the UK than anywhere else in the world – and Mercury Music Group/Def Jam UK president Jason Iley believes we might not be waiting too long before the star sells another 15 million.
“Selling 15 million records in the UK is a remarkable achievement,” Iley told Music Week. “Rihanna’s only 24 and I have no doubt she’ll sell another 15 million records in the near future – but it’s not about speed, it’s about longevity, and Rihanna has a long career ahead of her.”
Mercury launched Rihanna’s career in the UK seven years ago. The label has released each of her six albums – five of which have gone multi-platinum.
She is the only female artist to have had a No.1 hit single in five consecutive years in the UK, and has had a total of six UK No.1 singles and three No.1 albums.
“From the start Rihanna and her team have treated the UK like home,” added Iley. “She’s totally embraced Britain – right down to our public transport systems.
“Her work ethic is incredible. She understands the label, as well as the promotional opportunities that we’ve created.
“We have a great relationship with her manager Jay Brown. Since the very early days of Rihanna’s career he’s always shown an exceptional understanding of the UK market. He’s worked with us on the UK strategy on every album.”
Rihanna was the UK’s highest selling singles artist of the year in both 2010 and 2011, and spent more weeks at No. 1 in the singles chart than any other artist last year.