A couple of high-profile artists have caused quite a stir in the music industry as of late with claims that payouts from legal streaming music services are simply too low. They’ve often been vilified by the media and fans over such allegations but according to a new study from Ernest & Young and French record label trade group SNEP, artists are indeed getting the shaft.
The study, which set out to discover where money paid by subscribers to services like Spotify or Deezer actually goes, found that record labels take home the lion’s share of the earnings – 45.6 percent, to be exact. The platform keeps 20.8 percent, taxes account for 16.7 percent, songwriters / publishers get 10 percent and artists keep just 6.8 percent.
Strip out the platform’s share and taxes from the equation and you’re left with royalties. Of those, labels keep 73.1 percent, songwriters / publishers get 16 percent and artists earn just 10.9 percent.
Suddenly, we can see that artists are correct – they hardly make anything from streaming outfits. Granted, I realize that labels do a lot for artists but taking nearly three quarters of the royalties seems a bit excessive – especially when you consider how much the industry has changed in terms of distribution.
As such, artists should be pissed at their record labels – not streaming music providers – as they’re the ones that are pulling off the screw job.