White Sky Royalties Update – Issue #11

News and views from the money side of music. (And Happy New Year!)


User-centric streaming payouts: Not a new idea, but still no sign of adoption.

Streaming payouts, huh? The recurring topic on everyone’s lips … always. The headline issue is generally “We only make $0.00xx per stream!” Yes, that’s a small number but there’s no use comparing $-per-transaction any more. There are plenty of articles on all sides of the debate on the value of music and the pittance received by artists for each individual stream so I won’t go into that here.
What I want to revisit is the more basic idea of how the revenue is split. Not necessarily how much a stream is worth, (though it feeds into that), but the basic premise of how subscription money is handled. Basically: the way it is now vs. the user-centric model.
To give you an idea of how long these ideas have been kicking around, here are two articles from 2015 speaking on the subject. One from renowned industry data analytics firm MIDIA Research, and one from head Vulfmon, Jack Stratton, of Vulfpeck/Sleepify fame.
Still relevant today, but there’s no serious talk on even addressing the issue, let alone changing the status quo. At this stage I wonder if that change will ever happen … Major labels are making money again and Spotify has shareholders to answer to now. We’ll see.
In the news: