Beggars: 50/50 Streaming Stops


Indie label group Beggars stirred the streaming pot this week after revealing they are reviewing the 50/50 split on gross income they currently offer artists on revenue from streaming services. This follows a huge growth in income from platforms such as Spotify to artists on Beggars labels XL Recordings, Rough Trade, Matador and 4AD.

Speaking at Music Tank’s Artist Economics of Streaming event last Monday (7th) and as reported by Music Week, Beggars Digital Director Simon Wheeler said: “We have always been clear that if and when the streaming market grew to be a significant part of the business, we would have to review that, since the economics of the investments a record label makes do not, in our experience, allow for the artist to be paid 50% of the net, let alone 50% of the gross, as we have been doing”.

Wheeler added: “As a consequence, we are now reviewing our policy, and are likely in the near future to move away from 50% to a number which is between that and a normal royalty number. We’ll aim to find the right balance between ensuring the best possible rate to our artists and continuing to provide our full range of global services and resources to our artists”.

As reported, the IFPI last month reported a 51% global surge in revenue from subscription based streaming services despite the overall music market dropping by 3.8%. An estimated 28 million people paid for such services last year in comparison to just eight million in 2010.

On a related note, details of Amazon’s plans to roll free audio into its premium prime offer were leaked to the press. According to Digital Music News, the retail giant has a non-negotiable ‘take it or leave it’ approach to independent rights holders. Music, alongside Amazon’s woeful video streaming service will be reportedly “included as part of Amazon Prime as an additional benefit to customers at no additional cost and will be integrated into the current Amazon “music experience”.

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