Photo: Jill Douglas/Redferns
UK Music Groups Unite To Support Artists & Build A Better Streaming System
As trade talks between the UK and US progress, the priorities of music creators remain top of mind thanks to hard work by industry advocates. Both UK and US creators share a common goal: to ensure that creators are fairly compensated for their work. Recently, the Ivors Academy and Musicians' Union united to create the Keep Music Alive alliance. The goal of this UK-based campaign is to fix "the streaming model [that] has been broken for years and…is getting worse...by building an equitable, sustainable and transparent model."
Graham Davies, CEO of the Ivors Academy, defended this alliance's mission by stating that, "Consumers want their £9.99 a month to be paid to the artists, performers, songwriters and composers of the music they love."
While streaming services provide creators with a global platform to share their work, it has become increasingly more difficult for a music creator to gain a sustainable wage from streaming alone.
The call for fair streaming compensation for creators has intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has diminished the livelihoods of creators and left many with limited options to generate income, including the inability to hold a live performance for an audience. A study commissioned by the Musicians' Union states that one in five British musicians believe that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will end their professional music career, a stance that, unfortunately, the numbers support.
"One in five British musicians believe that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will end their professional music career."
In order to transform the goals laid out by Keep Music Alive into reality, the alliance is calling on the UK government to "urgently undertake a review of streaming" to ensure that the "flow of money is transparent and fair for the whole music ecosystem," according to their Change.org petition.
This call for increased compensation for creators mirrors ongoing efforts in the United States. Last week, the Recording Academy partnered with other leading music industry stakeholders to launch FairTradeofMusic.com to support “national treatment” of sound recording royalties in the US-UK trade deal. This new effort, following the successful inclusion of national treatment in the USMCA trade deal, is another example of the Academy’s work to improve compensation for music makers.