The numbers are officially out on just how much money music streaming services paid to major record labels in 2018 and the numbers are staggering.
Recognized as the top three record labels in the World, Sony, Universal, and Warner were paid $6.93 billion in 2018 per Mashable, racking in $800 000 per hour from streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and Pandora. Universal, which includes artists such as Drake, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and the Beatles, were the biggest winners after their streaming revenue increased to $2.42 million a day from 2017 to 2018.
The fact that 75% of the music industry’s revenues now come from streaming platforms (ten billion dollars a year), is it time for artists to unionize? It’s clear that despite them putting in the long hours and hard work, artists are not getting a fair share.
With the importance of streaming today, record labels are having their cake and are eating it too (receiving minimum 80% of proceeds) while the majority of the musicians, songwriters, producers around the World only get a fraction of a penny per song play from music streaming platforms. World-renowned composer and cellists Zoe Keating, whose music was streamed 2.25 million times on Spotify in 2018, only got paid $12 200.
Artists and their creativity continue to get exploited. For this to change, musicians must either demand a seat at the table and discuss better record deals or start owning their masters.