European Parliament votes for fairer payouts for musicians from streaming services

It’s a step forward for the rights of smaller and larger artists alike.

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On 17 January, European Parliament MEPs voted for new legislation to address fairer payouts for musicians across revenue distribution in music streaming.

At present, the EU has no set laws or regulations surrounding this topic, which has for several years been swept under the rug. It’s with this new proposed law musicians could finally see a fair share of revenue distribution and further support from streaming services.

By 2022, streaming grew to represent 67% of the music sector’s global revenue, with an annual revenue of $22.6 billion.

Stats for the vote showcased a whopping majority in favour, with a staggering 532 votes to 61 and 33 abstentions. In the EU Parliament bulletin, three major concerns were flagged: unfair revenue distribution, an imbalance of visibility between popular and emerging artists and a lack of regulation surrounding AI. Over the past year, the use of AI in music creation has raised alarm bells, especially with its rather successful run across the social media platform TikTok. 

Speaking on the matter, Spanish MEP Ibán García del Blanco says: “The Parliament is giving voice to the concerns of European creators, who are at the heart of the music streaming market. Cultural diversity and ensuring that authors are credited and fairly paid have always been our priority; this is why we ask for rules that ensure algorithms and recommendation tools used by music streaming services are transparent as well as in their use of AI tools, placing European authors at the centre.”

Moving forward, the MEP seeks to further develop this vote into a legal framework. Although currently a work in progress, this definitely represents progress for smaller artists.


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