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The Rolling Stones, Pet Shop Boys, Emeli Sandé, Barry Gibb, Van Morrison, Sir Tom Jones and the Estates of John Lennon and Joe Strummer have written to the Prime Minister "on behalf of today's generation of artists, musicians and songwriters here in the UK". 

All the modern British recording artists named by Boris Johnson in his Desert Island Discs are now represented on the letter. 

In an unprecedented show of solidarity, they have added their names to a joint letter with artists such as Annie Lennox, Paloma Faith, Kano, Joan Armatrading, Chris Martin, Gary Barlow, Paul McCartney, Melanie C, Jimmy Page, Boy George, Noel Gallagher and Kate Bush, calling on the PM to update UK law to "put the value of music back where it belongs – in the hands of music makers."

This renewed call comes on the back of a report last week by The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) which said this is a "systemic problem [that] cries out for a systemic solution" and concluded that streaming should start to pay more like radio: "The more global revenues surge, the harder it is for performers to understand why the imbalance is fair—because it is not...streaming remuneration likely should be considered for a communication to the public right."

More and more people are streaming music – heightened by the pandemic – but, as the artists point out, "the law has not kept up with the pace of technological change and, as a result, performers and songwriters do not enjoy the same protections as they do in radio," with most featured artists receiving tiny fractions of a US cent per stream" and session musicians receiving nothing at all.  

 

The letter suggests that "only two words need to change in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act...so that today's performers receive a share of revenues, just like they enjoy in radio" – a change which "won't cost the taxpayer a penny but will put more money in the pockets of UK taxpayers and raise revenues for public services like the NHS" and which will contribute to the "levelling-up agenda as we kickstart the post-Covid economic recovery."

The 234 signatories do not want streaming to be recognised as radio. Instead, they want streaming to share some of radio's remuneration model so that they are paid more fairly. Legislation, despite recognising that streaming is replacing sales, is yet to recognise that the technology is on its way to replacing radio too.  

The letter is backed by the Musicians' Union, the Ivors Academy and the Music Producer's Guild collectively representing tens of thousands of UK performers, composers and songwriters and producers, brought together in partnership with the #BrokenRecord campaign led by artist and songwriter, Tom Gray.

The Commons DCMS Committee has been examining this issue with its Economics of music streaming inquiry, expected to report by the end of this month, but it is understood that this issue falls between the remits of both the DCMS and BEIS departments, which is why the artists have chosen to address it to the Prime Minister.  

The letter also recommends "an immediate government referral to the Competition and Markets Authority" because of "evidence of multinational corporations wielding extraordinary power" over the marketplace and the creation of an industry regulator. 

They write that these changes "will make the UK the best place in the world to be a musician or a songwriter, allow recording studios and the UK session scene to thrive once again, strengthen our world leading cultural sector, allow the market for recorded music to flourish for listeners and creators, and unearth a new generation of talent."

 

Tom Gray, Founder of the #BrokenRecord Campaign, said:

"It is amazing and timely that the World Intellectual Property Organisation, who create the global treaties that underpin UK law, are now reporting that we are right. This is the moment for the UK to lead the way. British music makers are suffering needlessly. There is an extraordinary amount of money in music streaming. It is a success story for a few foreign multinationals, but rarely for the British citizens who make the music"

"This letter is fundamentally about preserving a professional class of music-maker into the future. Most musicians don't expect to be rich and famous or even be particularly comfortable, they just want to earn a crust."

 

Horace Trubridge, General Secretary of the Musicians' Union, said:

"I'm delighted to see so many artists, performers and songwriters backing our call.  Streaming is replacing radio so musicians should get the same protection when their work is played on streaming platforms as they get when it's played on radio.

"As the whole world has moved online during the pandemic, musicians who write, record and perform for a living have been let down by a law that simply hasn't kept up with the pace of technological change.  Listeners would be horrified to learn how little artists and musicians earn from streaming when they pay their subscriptions.

"By tightening up the law so that streaming pays more like radio, we will put streaming income back where it belongs - in the hands of artists.  It's their music so the income generated from it should go into their hands."

 

Graham Davies, Chief Executive of the Ivors Academy, said:

"Paying music creators properly, which is what so many incredible artists have spoken up to ask for on behalf of present and future musicians and songwriters, will drive the streaming industry and sustain the UK creative economy. Music should and could be a major national asset, but its potential value is currently stripped by overseas interests.

We need to keep the value of British music in our nation by supporting, nurturing and investing in our creators, whilst ensuring the handful of foreign multinational corporations which dominate the music industry and have little interest in preserving British cultural heritage, contribute more value back into the UK. These easy steps will achieve exactly that."

 

Crispin Hunt, Chair of the Ivors Academy, said:

"Major Music labels delude themselves that they are the sole providers of the music economy. They are not; the musicians, producers and composers who signed this letter are the true providers of the music economy; without them, no employment in music could exist.

"Britains Music Creators should be the primary beneficiaries of the value their creativity drives.  The record companies are now glorified marketing firms, without manufacturing and distribution costs. Their extraordinary profits ought to be shared more equitably with creators. In streaming the song is king, yet songwriters are streaming's serfs.


"British Music Creators want nothing more than a reasonable partnership with the companies that market and distribute our work. But a reasonable partnership should be based on shared rewards and responsibilities, not unilateral takings.

"With this letter, Britain's greatest Music Creators say Music must reform, Government can and should help us fix it."

26 Sep 2022 | Press release

Ed Sheeran pledges support for Music Venue Trust ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative

Campaign to change the ownership model of Grassroots Music Venues extended to 31 December 2022 Ed Sheeran has thrown his weight behind the campaign by Music Venue Trust (MVT) to make a radical intervention into the ownership of the UK’s Grassroots...more

26 Sep 2022 | Press release

YouTube Shorts to host classic David Bowie footage to celebrate new ‘Moonage Daydream’ documentary

  SERIES TO MARK DEBUT OF BOWIE’S CATALOGUE ON YOUTUBE SHORTS  VIEW THE SHORTS HERE      In an exciting first, YouTube Shorts are celebrating the release of the definitive new David Bowie documentary ‘Moonage Daydream’ by hosting a selection of classic footage of The Thin White Duke on YouTube Shorts. It will...more

26 Sep 2022 | Press release

Sentric Music Group makes key A&R hires across US

 Respected executives Matt DuFour, Kebu Commissiong, Carlos Escalona Cruz and Lou Plaia join the Utopia Music company   Sentric Music Group, part of Utopia Music, has made four key A&R hires in the United States, bringing experienced executives Matt DuFour, Carlos Escalona...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW Awards Show is rescheduled for Tuesday, 18 October 2022

The Awards Show on Thursday 8th September was postponed due to the death of Her Majesty The Queen. The re-scheduled 2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW Awards Show will now take place on Tuesday, 18 October 2022 at the Eventim Apollo,...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

Piri & Tommy sign major publishing deals

  Fresh from wowing the crowds at Reading and Leeds, pop-dance duo piri & tommy have just signed major publishing deals.  piri has signed a direct deal with Warner Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, while tommy...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

DCentralize to host the UK's first Web3 music festival

  Date: 14th - 16th August, 2023Location: Prestwold Hall Estate, Loughborough Register: https://www.dcentralize.ioDCentralize Festival will put the power back in the hands of the music community by transitioning into a DAO, enabling token-holders to participate in decision-making of the festival.  By joining the...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

John Leahy and Rupert King move to Blue Raincoat Artists

FORMER CHRYSALIS/BLUE RAINCOAT SENIOR MARKETING EXECS ANNOUNCE TRANSITION TO ARTIST MANAGEMENT TO FOCUS ON NOVA TWINS, THE MYSTERINES & OTHERS.   Respected music executives John Leahy and Rupert King have transitioned into full-time artist management roles, moving over to Blue Raincoat Artists,...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

Nottingham’s Home to Dance Music Stealth Begins New Chapter After Major Upgrade

  Leading UK dance club Stealth has begun a new chapter opening to rave reviews in Nottingham following a major transformation over the summer. The award-winning club that regularly features in DJ Mag’s ‘Top 100 Clubs in the World’ is returning with...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

LIVE statement on the Government’s mini-budget

Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE, said:  “While we are pleased to see the Government taking steps to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis, today’s announcement delivers little for the UK’s world leading live music industry.“Jobs are already on a knife edge, and we...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

IMPALA recognises Didier Gosset at Reeperbahn festival for his outstanding contribution to independent music

 Didier Gosset receives IMPALA's prestigious Outstanding Contribution Award during the association’s annual meeting in Hamburg.     Didier’s work as Communication and Network Director has been crucial in expanding the IMPALA membership’s breadth to over 30 countries today. He played a key role...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

A statement from AIF CEO Paul Reed on the UK Government's newly announced mini-budget

  "Today's announcement from the Chancellor means very little for our £1.76bn UK festival industry. We've faced unprecedented challenges on increased costs, supply chain and low consumer confidence, with audiences facing a social emergency. This shows no sign of relenting as...more

23 Sep 2022 | Press release

Aveleen Rose Entertainment to Represent Rapper and Spoken Word Artist, John Bernard

The London-based artist services agency, Aveleen Rose Entertainment has announced new management signing with rapper and spoken word artist John Bernard. Corina Sabou, the CEO and founder of Aveleen Rose Entertainment, said: “What impressed me the most, apart from his artistry,...more

22 Sep 2022 | Press release

UK Music Urges Government To Protect Music Industry From 'Economic Storm' As New Report Reveals Sector's Fragile Recovery

  UK Music, the collective voice of the UK music industry, publishes its This Is Music 2022 annual report today (Sept 22), which reveals how the sector began to recover from the initial impact of the pandemic. Unveiling the report, UK Music...more

22 Sep 2022 | Press release

BBC Studios and BBC Music presents Later… with Jools Holland at 30

  Celebrating a landmark birthday, BBC Two’s Later… with Jools Holland at 30 is to be recorded before 3,000 fans at one of Britain’s most famous concert venues on Wednesday 5 October. 30 years, 60 series and over 450 episodes since it all began back...more

22 Sep 2022 | Press release

hmv's Live & Local gig programme leads to Newcastle singer being signed to 1921 Records

  - India Arkin will release her debut album on vinyl after being spotted by hmv staff following gigs in her university town of Newcastle - More than 100 gigs are set to take place in hmv stores this National Album Day...more

22 Sep 2022 | Press release

Warner Music and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation host inaugural youth careers event in Belfast

  Major music company, Warner Music, and sporting charity, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, have come together with the support of local broadcaster, Cool FM, to host their first ever careers event for young people in Belfast at the city’s Oh Yeah...more

22 Sep 2022 | Press release

BeatStars Publishing Announces Recent Producer Signings - Including Hitkidd, 1SRAEL, Pxcoyo, Emkay, Chris Rich and RedMOSK

Responsible for Multiple Platinum Hits and Tracks by Lil Uzi Vert, Megan the Stallion, Future and More Today, BeatStars Publishing announces recent producer signings, including Hitkidd, 1SRAEL, Pxcoyo, Emkay, ENRGY, Pilotkid, Chris Rich, RedMOSK, DeeMarc, Dystinkt, Lil H, and Josh Petruccio.  Since...more

22 Sep 2022 | Press release

Fire In The Booth announces new partnership with Donny “Dizzy Clean Face” Flores to spearhead US developments

  Charlie Sloth announced a new partnership with award-winning music industry titan Donny “Dizzy Clean Face” Flores.  Flores is to help spearhead the US communications for Fire In The Booth as the platform shows huge growth in the US territory. Flores will...more

22 Sep 2022 | Press release

Leila Oliveira named President of Warner Music Brazil

Sérgio Affonso to step down after more than 15 years as President to run his own independent label     Leila Oliveira is being promoted to become President of Warner Music Brazil, effective from October 28.  She will step up into the role...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

Oscar-winning producer Paul Epworth congratulates the first Ivor Novello Scholar, Andy Skinner, calling him “an inspiration”

  Songwriter Andy Skinner from Bangor, Northern Ireland, has been confirmed as the first Ivor Novello Scholar and will have his fees paid to study TheWRD from The Ivors Academy.  TheWRD is a new Access to Higher Education Diploma in Creative Entrepreneurship with...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

National Album Day

NATIONAL ALBUM DAY 2022 – SATURDAY 15TH OCTOBER “CELEBRATING DEBUT ALBUMS” Presented in association with audio partner Bowers & Wilkins and broadcast partner BBC Sounds EXCLUSIVE LP RELEASES & REISSUES ANNOUNCED TO COINCIDE WITH NATIONAL ALBUM DAY:ALT-J, BLACK SABBATH, BLOSSOMS, BUNNY SCOTT, CHASE...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

Anna Gregorek joins UTA as Senior Director of Music Brand Partnerships in the UK

UTA’s Music and Marketing Practices See Momentum with Expanded Presence Over the Past Year    Leading global talent, entertainment and sports company UTA today announced that Anna Gregorek will join the agency as Senior Director of Music Brand Partnerships (MBP), a newly...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

Stormzy & Rina Sawayama Win Big At AIM Awards 2022

Legendary British musician Stormzy honoured as Diversity ChampionRina Sawayama to receive Innovator Award in association with Amazon MusicFinal nominees revealed ahead of ceremony on 28 SeptemberCeremony tickets selling fastLive Show & After Party tickets on sale here with rising star...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

Music Venue Trust announces Ticketmaster as headline sponsor for Venues Day 2022

FRANK TURNER TO GIVE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AND OTHER SPEAKERS CONFIRMED  Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced Ticketmaster as the headline sponsor for its forthcoming Venues Day annual networking event, which takes place on Tuesday 18th October at Hackney Church (formerly known as...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

Warner Music UK promotes Charlotte Saxe to SVP, Legal and Business Affairs

James Radice to step down from his role after eight years   Warner Music UK has today announced that Charlotte Saxe will be promoted to become SVP, Legal & Business Affairs from 3rd October.  In her new role, she’ll be reporting directly to Tony...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

YouTube announces new ways for creators to make money, supporting the next wave of global creative entrepreneurs

At its inaugural Made on YouTube event, the platform reveals that over the last three years, YouTube has paid creators, artists and media companies more than $50B   Today YouTube introduced the next chapter in rewarding creativity on the platform. At its...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

Music Venue Trust statement on energy support package

"Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this intervention by the Government, which appears at face value to comprehensively tackle the immediate short term energy crisis for Grassroots Music Venues. We await full details of the scheme and the method of implementation by...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

YMU expands into gaming and sports marketing as Digital Sports Mgmt joins the group

 Digital Sports MGMT represents leading brands such as Warner Bros and Xbox, and influencers such as Danny Aarons, ShaunaGames and AJ3     YMU today announce the integration of leading sports marketing, gaming, and entertainment agency, Digital Sports Mgmt (DSM), into their global...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

LIVE statement on energy support package

Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE said: "We welcome this support from Government, but we are clear that this needs to be sustained past the next six months. Spiralling energy prices have already forced music venues up and down the country to...more

21 Sep 2022 | Press release

Music Mudder 2022 raises over £55,000 for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy

  Music Mudder 2022, the music-inspired endurance event organised by leading talent agency Wasserman Music, in partnership with music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins, successfully raised over £55,000 for the charity, on a day filled with mud, sweat and cheers.  The event saw teams...more

26 Sep 2022

  • Paid single sales drop to lowest point in 17 years (see Analysis)

  • Mini-budget outlines tax cuts, but entertainment sector notes lack of support; Ed Sheeran champions intervention into the ownership of Grassroots Music Venues (see News)

23 Sep 2022

  • Why musicians are cancelling tours to protect their mental health (see Features)

  • Mercury Prize sets new date (see News)

22 Sep 2022

  • CMA publishes responses from industry to its streaming economy report (see News)

  • UK Music publishes This Is Music 2022 annual report (see Reports)

  • Why major labels and Spotify love fake artists (see Opinion)

21 Sep 2022

  • Spotify launches audiobooks business (see Digital)

  • YouTube announces new ways for creators to make money (see Digital)

  • The art of being dropped (see Features)

20 Sep 2022

  • Warner Music Group is moving beyond superstars – and that is a good thing (see Comment)

16 Sep 2022

  • Just how financially secure is music publishing? (see Analysis)

15 Sep 2022

  • Ruling highlights PRO Tariff structures for music festivals in the EU may be unlawful (see News)

30 Nov 1999

    14 Sep 2022

    • Universal Music Group launches Virgin Music Group (see Business)

    • YouTube paid over $6bn to the industry in last year (see Digital)

    13 Sep 2022

    • Why Wall Street is still betting on the music industry (see Analysis)