Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, is not fond with how low artist royalty payouts are from Apple Music, Spotify, and others.
Elon Musk has recently started dating Grimes, a Canadian synth-pop artist. Shortly after the announcement of their relationship status went public, fans from both sides went bonkers. Memes came out from the wood work. Additionally, fans tweeted and asked Musk what his favorite Grimes song was. It’s “Fresh without Blood,” if you were wondering. He then went on to explain how low the artist payouts were, after being asked what the best way to support Grimes would be.
So, which digital service provider pays out the highest royalty rate?
This chart shows how crazy low payout is to labels & the artists only a small fraction of these numbers pic.twitter.com/2us0rzTMqk
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2018
According to the above chart by Statista, Xbox Music, Rhapsody, Tidal, and Apple Music are the top four highest paying digital service providers. Xbox Music pays out $0.027/stream, whereas YouTube is paying out $0.00074/stream. Mind you, YouTube is still the largest streaming service on the planet, with 1.6 billion monthly active users.
Unfortunately, even after these extraordinarily low and unfair streaming payouts, Spotify and Pandora dominate the streaming market. Apple Music just surpassed 50 million subscribers, when only three months ago the service had 36 million.
‘Sandstorm’ producer Darude put in his two-cents on Twitter
No, no & no. What about writers or producers who are invisible, “only” writing, and can’t or don’t want to tour? Nobody’s buying, say, Britney’s writing partners’ merch, b/c average listener doesn’t care or know the performing artist is not necessarily the writer or producer.
— Darude (@Darudevil) May 14, 2018
Artists like Gramatik and Gareth Emery are creating their own revenue streams through cryptocurrencies
Recently, Gramatik and Gareth Emery broke into the cryptocurrency game with the GRMTK Token and Choon, respectively. Gramatik launched the GRMTK Token at an ICO in Zurich, Switzerland back in November. Both coins are similar in a sense that an investor invests in one’s business, but Gramatik takes it one step further. The GRMTK Tokens are an investment in Gramatik’s work, “including film scores and new music.” This is an interesting concept. Theoretically speaking, you can own a portion of the copyright, which means you can receive royalties and have a say in what or how the track(s) are used.
“Embedded in the GRMTK Token is not only the rights and royalties of my creations, but the ideals and philosophy of freedom and liberty for all artists, for all people,” states Gramatik. “This is a movement of not only art, but of the mind and of the spirit.”
Gareth Emery takes aim at artists receiving equal payment. “When it comes to getting paid fairly, artists get a worse deal today than ever,” states the “Concrete Angel” producer. “Contrary to popular belief, there is money there, but it’s going to the wrong people. We want to radically change the game. Finally giving new and emerging artists a chance to be fairly paid for their music, and making it far easier to create contracts for collaborations, management, samples and licensing.”
The conversation about the unfair treatment of artist royalties is happening
Let’s hope that the conversation continues. The digital service providers are making millions and billions of dollars on the artists that fuel their platform. Without them, there wouldn’t be Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc. Artists spend hours upon hours, and even make massive life sacrifices, to pursue their passion of music. It’s vital that these services support them financially by paying them properly. They’re even trying to slip through the cracks and crevices by not acquiring the proper licenses.
As my dad always says, “At least Jesse James used a gun when he robbed you.”