We’ve highlighted this before as we believe that rights owners in all forms should receive their due recompense.
But recently we’ve picked up on a bit of an uplift in coverage again around streaming royalties such as this post from The Trichordist which is currently doing the rounds on the internet about how badly paid artists are getting paid from the likes of Pandora and also the recent activity by Pink Floyd who have also been raising the issue as you can be seen in this USA Today article.
An interesting statistic from the USA Today article is that 90% of artists receive less than $5,000 per year for all their digital airplay in the form of royalties. If this is true, 90% is an awful large number.
We think, of course, that artists should be protecting their payments via royalties on digital airplay, it’s only right. However it also flags that in this changing world they should also be looking at their material on a bigger picture basis. A single sync (or a small number of such) with a broadcaster for one track could generate significantly more income in one hit than an entire years royalty payments with way less hassle and stress. By looking at sync as a serious revenue stream you can compensate for some of the income downsides in the changing rights landscape.
So while you need to protect your royalty revenues, the effect of a continued squeeze can be negated through a more broad diversification of your income source. Sure it might seem ‘commercial’ and ‘cynical’ to some to attach their music to Brands or TV/Film, however when the ‘non-commercial’ such as streaming can also be deemed to be cynical in a different fashion, where’s the argument? The world is changing but the fundamental requirement for artists and right holders to receive an income isn’t changing.
Sometimes you can change the World, sometimes you must resist change in the World and sometimes you have to change with the World. So at the same time as rebelling and rightly protecting, lets also adapt and modernise.