The below statement comes directly from A2IM President & CEO, Richard James Burgess MBE.

I have not commented till now about Deezer’s proposal for “artist-centric” royalties in the streaming industry because I wanted to understand the underlying thinking, calculations, and the full dimension of the proposal.

I am sure we all agree that the streaming ecosystem needs to be modernized and improved. In the excitement about the growth of streaming an issue that has not been addressed is that the global recorded music market is still significantly below its 1999 peak by adjusted dollars. It’s unlikely that peak will be exceeded with the current levels of subscription rates.

The Deezer model rewards artists who are actively searched for by users and those who maintain a level of 1,000 streams per month from at least 500 unique accounts. This is an effort to reduce the gaming of the system, while boosting payments to professional artists. Noise content that contains no music will be removed from the service and replaced with Deezer owned content that will not be part of the royalty pool. Tracks designed to game the system will also be removed. Deezer expects these changes to increase artist royalties. Streaming fraud reduces the pool monies available to genuine artists and A2IM has been actively working for many years to address the issue of stream manipulation in its various and ever-changing forms.

Critics are concerned that Deezer’s proposal could harm independent artists and limit opportunities for new artists in the streaming industry. Deezer has told me that they are equally concerned about this and that they have plans to ensure that emerging artists are not disadvantaged. Deezer has also expressed willingness to adjust the plan as new information emerges.

Please let me know any concerns you may have.

Dr. Richard James Burgess MBE
To contact Dr. Burgess directly, email [email protected]