Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Will Indie Streams Earn Less Than Major Label Streams?

Copyright Royalty Board image
In case you've ever wondered how the streaming rates for services like Pandora and iHeart Radio are determined, it's by a trio of judges selected by the US Library of Congress called the Copyright Royalty Board or CRB.

Ever 5 years the CRB sets a new rate, which usually increases slightly each year of the five.

Non-interactive services like Pandora currently at mandated to pay $0.00014 per stream, but that's due to change in 2016, and the CRB is meeting now to determine by how much, if any, the streaming rate will increase.

There's some evidence that the CRB is looking into variable royalty rates this time around. This means that there could be one rate for the major labels, and another cheaper rate for indies.

This would be a disaster for any artist not signed directly to a major, and as you'd probably expect, the outcry from indie labels has been great.

To be clear, the CRB has NOT determined this is the way to go yet, but there's evidence that the direction has been explored. Obviously not a good thing if it happens, as all those thousand's of a cent rack up over time into some real money.

The CRB does not set the rate for on-demand streaming like Spotify, which does direct deals with the labels.


Peter McDonald said...

It is horrendous that indie labels and artist get screwed over under such deals. Goes to show that the system is geared towards ensuring the majors get a large % of the pot.

Nichole said...

I agree. It's horrendous and as of now, and among other adjectives that come to mind... this group is an embarrassment.

Put The Shoe of the Artist on Your Foot for a minute.

You know when you make a life of gipping musicians or anyone for that matter, expect to see a huge downturn and a plethera of unhappiness in other parts of your life. I don't care who you are.

The fact is...

-Look at how few clubs... real clubs exist for the REAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE ARTISTS today... esp. blues clubs(where in the past, these bands could make a better living than now).

-A lot of these clubs over the years have disappeared sadly.

-Technology when used in the right spirit, can be the artists' friend,

but today...people are so immersed into their phone that it is often
more challenging to get tons of fans'REPEAT FOCUS to want to $UPPORT LIVE Indie Shows and to $UPPORT the Artist Merchandise, etc. for the longterm. Sure, there is crowdfunding, etc., but that may not be every indie artist path and personality; especially when starting out, without a personal manager, business manager, etc. It's like having to be Scotty Moore(in his early days) on steriods today.

-So for the indie artists "who would not sign to a major label", by degrading their royalty rate, as you know you are setting them up for a financial hole, and causing major stress to their health and to their families. Yes, there are artists who have other talents, jobs, etc. but many are people whose "musical talent" is really all they can do.

As a consumer, at the end of the day, I don't care about what designer clothing I have or don't have. That doesn't make me feel good. But when I can hear an artist noncontrived song , with a real spirit inside, then that is what matters. And artists/musicians are people too, who deserve a sufficient royalty rate, and a fulfilling, healthy long life.


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