This week there was a lot of big news! The summer slump is over, to say the least. Arguably the biggest headline of the week concerns Deezer and UMG. These two giants have launched an innovative "artist-centric" streaming model that aims to better reward artists and prioritize the music that fans value the most. This model is expected to increase payouts to professional artists by 10% across the board. Deezer will introduce the model in France next month, with plans for a global rollout in the new year.
Under the new model, professional artists, defined as those with a minimum of 1,000 streams per month and 500 unique listeners, will receive a "double boost" to their royalty payments. This means that streams of their music will carry double the weight compared to streams of non-professional artists. Additionally, tracks by artists that fans actively search for will receive a second "double boost". Not too shabby!
This innovative model also aims to reduce the impact of algorithmic programming by giving greater weight to plays of songs by popular artists that fans have searched for. In contrast, plays of songs by unpopular artists that have been algorithmically served to users will have less influence.
Deezer and UMG will also de-monetize "non-artist noise audio" as part of this model. While the exact definition of "noise" has not been specified, Deezer plans to replace all non-artist content on its platform with its own "functional music" to exclude it from the royalty pool. This follows the trend that Spotify set last week in making a similar business decision.
Deezer also intends to implement a stricter provider policy to limit the upload of low-quality music. With the exponential growth of digital music distribution and generative AI tools, there has been an oversupply of content on streaming platforms, including white noise and low-quality tracks.
In addition to these changes, Deezer is committed to combatting streaming fraud, with ongoing efforts to enhance its fraud detection system and protect streaming royalties for artists. Approximately 7% of streams were identified as fraudulent in 2022.
Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Deezer, stated that this model is a significant shift in the economic model of music streaming and will support the creation of high-quality content. The aim is to ensure fairness in the industry by accurately reflecting the value of each piece of content and eliminating wrong incentives that do not support or protect artists.
Michael Nash, UMG's EVP and Chief Digital Officer, emphasized that the artist-centric model aims to prevent music from being drowned in a sea of noise and to better support and reward artists at all stages of their careers, irrespective of their fanbase size. Here at Organic Music Marketing (along with our sister company Organic Music Publishing), we always prioritize putting the artist first. You can find some of the lowest commission fees and artist-centric in the industry with us! Click below to find out more.
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