- Over 10,000 artists have signed a petition calling for more ethical practices within the streaming giant.
The Union Of Musicians has launched a campaign against Spotify.
"Justify At Spotify" presses for various changes within the streaming giant's payment model. "Spotify is the most dominant platform on the music streaming market," reads UOM"s statement. "The company behind the streaming platform continues to accrue value, yet music workers everywhere see little more than pennies in compensation for the work they make."
"With the entire live music ecosystem in jeopardy due to the coronavirus pandemic, music workers are more reliant on streaming income than ever. We are calling on Spotify to deliver increased royalty payments, transparency in their practices and to stop fighting artists."
The full list of demands calls for a penny per song stream—it currently hovers around .0038 cents per stream—as well as a user-centric payment model. The Union is also pressing for greater transparency within the company, which would require publicizing all closed-door contracts, increased income transparency, revealing existing payola schemes and including full credits on each work. Finally, the Union demands Spotify cease all legal disputes with songwriters over lower royalty rates. Earlier this year, Spotify and other streaming services appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse the 44% increase in songwriter royalty payments implemented in 2018 by the Copyright Royalty Board.
As of today, over 10,000 musicians, producers, promoters and collectives including the likes of Volvox, DJ LAG, Discwoman, Tomu DJ, Moor Mother,The Carry Nation and INVT have signed the petition.
Spotify has been criticized for its payout model, which privileges more established artists due to a pro-rata model that distributes royalties based on the popularity of an individual track. A user-centric model, on the other hand, would allow the royalties portion of a user's monthly payment to be distributed only to the artists they listen to.
In July Spotify CEO Daniel Ek dismissed mounting concerns over the company's payment practices in a discussion with Music Ally, where he said, "It's quite interesting that while the overall pie is growing, and more and more people can partake in that pie, we tend to focus on a very limited set of artists."
For more information, check out the Union Of Musicians site below.