Professional musicians should be able to earn more money through streaming services. To this end, providers of white noise recordings and similar sounds are excluded from making money on the platforms. Universal Music has developed a new payment model with Deezer. Spotify has also announced that, from October 1st, podcasts that consist of noises will be an opportunity to earn money through advertising.
According to an article in the Financial Times, Deezer and Universal Music expect revenues for professional artists to increase by 10 percent. A professional artist is someone who generates more than 1,000 views per month. According to the new calculation, they will receive double weighting when distributing the money compared to artists who do not receive this number. If a listener specifically searches for a song, the weighting is doubled again. Specifically, this means that if someone searches for and listens to a song by Taylor Swift, for example, it counts as four streams.
So there is hardly any money left for amateurs, bots and noise recording creators. While it seems logical that recording a washing machine or a hairdryer requires little power and therefore requires little remuneration, the new calculation could of course have an unpleasant impact on very young musicians. Deezer has long been interested in distributing earnings from music streaming more fairly.
Streaming services are changing the payment model for artists
So far the way it works is that all income goes into one big pot and the rights holders, i.e. the artists if necessary, or even the publishers like Universal Music, get their percentage share from the big pot. This means subscribers who never listen to Taylor Swift essentially still pay for her. This pro-rata model is contrasted with the user-centric model, in which a listener only pays for the artists that they have accessed themselves. Of course, this calculation is a bit more complicated. It is based on the number of listeners instead of evaluating individual streams. It has not yet been implemented.
The current change is now intended to ensure that 30 seconds of song cannot bring in as much money as a 30 second recording of a washing machine. Deezer has also stated that the exemption applies to AI-generated songs – so these are also excluded from monetization. As quoted by the Financial Times, Universal Music is also talking to Spotify, Tidal and SoundCloud about an adjustment.
Spotify recently complained that too many podcasters were uploading white noise and thus even benefiting from advertising revenue from the Ambassador Ads program – which is based on impressions. This will no longer be possible from October 1st, reports The Verge. However, podcasters who specialize in soothing sounds can still make money by getting paid directly by subscribers or by incorporating automated third-party ads.
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