More than 300 songwriters have reportedly signed an open letter to a number of recording labels, calling for fair payment. The signatories of the letter, which was put down by Helienne Lindvall, The Ivors Academy of Music Creators’ Board Director and the Chair of the Songwriter Committee, include Giorgio Moroder, MNEK, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paloma Faith, Toddla T, and Jess Glynne.
Pointing at the low revenue obtained from streaming services, the letter stated that the payment policy is so unfair that even 100,000 streams of a song will not cover the cost of a cup of coffee. The letter underscored that a songwriter could have millions of streams online and still not be able to make rent in the cities where their work is done.
Earlier, songwriters were willing to risk their respective investment as there was a chance of returns if a song was utilized or indeed a hit. However, without the possibility of viable returns, the question of incentive has been causing today’s artists to reflect.
As per sources, the letter also highlighted the dependency on songwriters, not only for songs but for direction, inspiration, as well as development within the contemporary music industry. In fact, up and coming artists are often placed into the hands of songwriters in the infancy of their careers.
Further, the letter stated that even when several hours of a songwriter’s work does not make records, it gives necessary comparison of A&R decision-making. The creators are responsible for undertaking an immense professional and personal investment in each artist who walks via their doors.
The letter goes on to call for writers to be paid a per diem allowance amounting to at least £75 of £120 for their time, and for a minimum of four points on net earnings to be shared among the non-performance songwriters on a record.
In early March 2021, SoundCloud declared that it will become the first streaming service to redirect the fees of spending subscribers to the artists that they listen to. The decision was previously supported by musicians who have condemned the economics of streaming platforms.