The IFPI has thrown its hat into the ring to discuss streaming royalties paid to artists. The group’s CEO Frances Moore penned a blog post about this delicate subject based on IFPI’s own research into the music industry’s financial situation.
Moore presented some context about why and how payments to artists have declined. She pointed to an overall decline in the value of the recorded music industry in recent years. “The issue is not that artists are getting lower royalty payments from digital services – they are not – but that the overall recorded music market has shrunk, which means smaller revenues for all involved,” she wrote.
She supported the actions of labels and record companies in taking risks to back new artists. Moore argued that these institutions merit the large cuts they receive from streaming royalties. “Some have quoted a figure of 50% of revenues from streaming services ending up with record companies, but this takes no account of the record companies’ costs.”
She wasn’t so positive about all streaming options, though. Moore had some pointed words for YouTube and SoundCloud, claiming that they take unfair advantage of safe harbor laws. “Laws that were designed to exempt passive intermediaries from liability in the early days of the internet – so-called “safe harbours” – should never be allowed to exempt active digital music services from having to fairly negotiate licences with rights holders,” she wrote. “There should be clarification of the application of “safe harbours” to make it explicit that services that distribute and monetise music do not benefit from them.”