Rock 'N' Roll Reads Music Streaming

Music Streaming...

The most informative read on music streaming is not a book to buy, it's a document to download for free. Go to for the transcripts of two government select committees organised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport late last year.

Among those being gloriously frank were several music industry lawyers along with musicians including Soweto Kinch, Nile Rodgers, Guy Garvey, Ed O'Brien and Nadine Shah.

A few randomly picked comments from the document will give you the general flavour.

'Major label deals still have clauses in them for physical breakages. They used to assume that when you transported the records 10% would get broken on the road... and then work out your royalty for 90%. They are still doing that on streams.'

'I had a track on an album that was recently No 1 in the UK album charts... that track has earned me about £100.'

'It is not the streaming services that we have the problem with… it is the big three record companies... £4.2 billion paid out to the top three labels this year, in a situation where eight out of ten of us are not getting £200 a year.'

'Since signing… in 2012 we have generated over 1 billion streams but I only saw a royalty cheque for the first time in 2019... Even then we had to pay that money to the label because they said we still owed them from the touring.'

'People go to YouTube to listen to music... they are streaming 51% of the world's music. If they were a music company they would be broken up as a monopoly.'

'Neither Spotify, Apple, Tidal nor Deezer pay artists, full stop. They pay only the intermediaries, being labels, publishers or what we call aggregators, never artists or songwriters directly.'