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Keep Music Alive: New calls for artists to be paid more from streaming during pandemic

12 May 2020 | 8:53 am | Emma Jones

A new campaign has been launched calling for artists to be paid more for their music by streaming services. Titled 'Keep Music Alive', the campaign has been launched by The Musicians Union and The Ivors Academy.

The calls come after the global pandemic caused a screeching, overnight halt to the majority of the music industry with no events able to be held thus wiping out the significant factor of paid gigs to artists' finances. According to Mixmag, Musicians Union members have reported more than £21 million in lost income since the COVID-19 lockdown began, and "more than 20,000 applications have been made to music industry hardship funds set up by PPL."

The campaign takes aim at services like Spotify and is demanding artists receive higher royalty cuts from streaming.

“This crisis has brought into sharp relief the fact that creators and performers are sustained primarily by the live side of the music business and that streaming royalties are woefully insufficient," Keep Music Alive said in a statement.

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Further to this, Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the MU, said: “Musicians shouldn’t be so dependent on their income from gigging and music teaching that when it falls away they are literally unable to pay their bills within weeks."

These renewed calls follow on from a recent reignition of the debate when figures were made public detailing just how many streams are required for an artist to make just one hour's worth of the minimum UK wage — and being described as terrifying.

The Ivors Academy, the independent trade body for songwriters and composers in the UK, also made a comment about the campaign with CEO Graham Davies saying, “This is a defining moment for the music industry. Music creators are clear that the industry must change. The current models are broken. It is wrong for a few corporations to make billions from streaming while thousands of creators seek hardship support as their livelihoods evaporate.”

While this looks to be specific to the UK at the moment, you can keep up to date with the campaign HERE.

Words by Emma Jones

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