Home / General / Will Congress Finally Take Action in Favor of Musicians Against the Egregious, Predatory Streaming Platforms?

Will Congress Finally Take Action in Favor of Musicians Against the Egregious, Predatory Streaming Platforms?

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“Comrade Lenin Sweeps the Globe Clean” by Mikhail Cheremmnykh & Victor Deni, 1920

I’m curious to get a closer look at the actual legislation, but this strikes me as a promising step in the right direction in terms of addressing the oppressive, larcenous, predatory practices of streaming platforms towards musicians. From Pitchfork:

U.S. House representatives Rashida Tlaib and Jamaal Bowman have introduced to Congress a new bill aiming to boost streaming royalties for artists. The Living Wage for Musicians Act would create a new payment system, the Artist Compensation Royalty Fund, that circumvents record labels and other intermediaries, funneling listeners’ money directly to artists. Tlaib said in a statement, “Streaming has changed the music industry, but it’s leaving countless artists struggling to make ends meet behind. It’s only right that the people who create the music we love get their fair share, so that they can thrive, not just survive.”

The funds would come from two sources: an added subscription fee (proposed as an extra half, with a $4 minimum and $10 maximum) and a 10 percent cut of streamers’ non-subscription revenue, from sources such as ads. The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) has long supported the bill, noting that streaming platforms are already planning price hikes, and the proposal ensures extra fees go to the artists themselves.

UMAW organizer Damon Krukowski, of Damon & Naomi and formerly Galaxie 500, said in a statement, “There is a lot of talk in the industry about how to ‘fix’ streaming—but the streaming platforms and major labels have already had their say for more than a decade, and they have failed musicians. The Living Wage for Musicians Act presents a new, artist-centered solution to make streaming work for the many and not just the few. We need to return value to recordings by injecting more money into the system, and we need to pay artists and musicians directly for streaming their work.”

Time to get serious.

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