The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Union Of Musicians Launches 'Justice At Spotify' Campaign
Christian Eede , October 28th, 2020 22:26

The collective of musicians, DJs, producers, road crew, and other workers has collected more than 10,000 signatures to date, including the likes of Zola Jesus and King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

The Union Of Musicians And Allied Workers has launched the 'Justice At Spotify' campaign to call for changes to the streaming giant's business model.

The group, which counts musicians, DJs, producers, road crew, and other workers among its member base, is organising to "collectively take resources and power from the few wealthy companies that dictate our industry," a note shared by the campaign says. So far, it's collected more than 10,000 signatures, including those of Moor Mother, Zola Jesus, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, the Discwoman collective, Palehound, Deerhoof and Fugazi's Guy Picciotto.

The campaign has a number of demands of the Swedish streaming platform. They include a per-stream royalty rate of at least one cent (a raise on the current .0038 cents per stream), paid via a user-centric payment model; transparency in contracts and deals with labels (some of which give favourable terms to majors at the expense of smaller, independent labels); the withdrawal of pay-to-play arrangements on Spotify's curated playlists; and listed credits for all of those involved in recordings.

Spotify does not currently pay royalties on a per-stream basis, and instead operates a pro-rata model that privileges bigger artists as royalties are distributed based on the popularity of an individual track. A switch to a user-centric model would allow for distribution directly to rights holders based on a per-stream basis.

The Union Of Musicians And Allied Workers says it plans to present its demands to Spotify's offices in person and will "escalate" the campaign if the demands are not met. Spotify has not yet responded to the campaign.