Musicians and composers are not being fairly compensated by streaming platforms such as Spotify, with the main cause being the loss of value for their creations, according to a press release of the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers, Sabam.
A cited example of the loss of value of artists' music is how the price of Spotify's basic subscription of €9.99 has not changed since the platform entered the Belgian market in 2011. Due to advantageous formulas such as the family or student subscription, the average price per user has decreased in recent years. As a result, average incomes for authors and composers have also decreased.
Moreover, according to Sabam, this revenue distribution is completely disproportionate: 55% of the revenue generated is for the labels and artists, 30% remains in the coffers of the streaming platforms and only 15 % ends up with the authors and music publishers.
The findings are taken from a presented study on music streaming by Gesac, the European grouping of authors' and composers' associations.
Belgians don't listen local
The Belgian market also has its own limitations, Sabam stressed. It also stated that the presence of three different cultures in a small area leads to a limited penetration rate. Belgium also has many more free subscribers than other countries. "The economic impact of this is huge, as a free subscription generates authors ten times less revenue than the paid version."
Finally, Belgians mostly stream international music. This is detrimental for local artists, as more money flows through to other countries this way. "The Belgian market is bursting with local music talent," said Sabam CEO Steven De Keyser. "And we want them to be properly compensated for their creativity."
Streaming has become the most important form of music consumption. It accounts for 68% of global music engagement, has more than 524 million subscribers and offers more than 70 million musical works.