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Understanding the Proposed Increase in Streaming Royalties: Impact on Recording Artists



The ongoing discussion about increasing streaming royalties for recording artists has captured the attention of the music industry. The proposed change suggests raising the royalty rate from its current level to 1 cent per stream. In this blog post, we'll delve into the positives and negatives of this proposed increase and provide a practical example to illustrate its potential impact on artists' earnings.


Pros of the Proposed Increase:


1. Fair Compensation: A higher royalty rate per stream means artists would receive fairer compensation for their music, reflecting its value and the effort put into creating it.


2. Financial Stability: Increased royalties could contribute to greater financial stability for artists, especially independent musicians who heavily rely on streaming revenue.


3. Incentive for Creativity: Knowing they can earn more from streaming, artists may feel more encouraged to create and release new music, leading to a more vibrant and diverse music landscape.


Cons of the Proposed Increase:

1. Impact on Streaming Platforms: Higher royalty rates could lead to increased costs for streaming platforms, potentially affecting their profitability and business models.


2. Possible Subscription Fee Increases: Streaming services may pass on the increased costs to consumers, resulting in higher subscription fees for listeners.


3. Complexity in Distribution: Distributing royalties accurately among rights holders, including songwriters, producers, and performers, may become more complex with higher rates.



Example Calculation:

Let's consider an artist who aims to earn $35,000 in a year solely from streaming royalties at the proposed rate of 1 cent per stream. We'll break this down into monthly streams and estimate the number of listeners needed to achieve this goal.


1. Monthly Streams: $35,000 divided by 12 months equals approximately $2,917 per month.


2. Streams per Month: At 1 cent per stream, the artist needs to accumulate $2,917 / $0.01 = 291,700 streams per month.


3. Listeners Estimate: Assuming an average listener streams 30 songs per month, it would take approximately 291,700 streams / 30 songs per listener = 9,723 listeners per month.


The proposed increase in streaming royalties to 1 cent per stream has both positive and negative implications for recording artists and the music industry as a whole. While it offers fairer compensation and financial stability to artists, it may also impact streaming platforms and potentially listeners through increased costs. Understanding these dynamics is crucial as discussions on streaming royalties continue to evolve.

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