sweden music speakerInternet music streaming continues to give artists around the world the short end of the royalties stick.

A new study came out of France last month by SNEP and Ernst & Young, looking at French payout distributions from major online streaming sights, namely Pandora, Spotify, and Deezer.

France’s payout revenue breakdown:

– 73% to Labels
– 16% to Writers/Publishers
– 11% to Artists

You already know artists at the top of the music food chain (Taylor Swift, etc.) have been yanking their music from streaming services across the board and protesting with all their might over measly payouts. And as the French study illustrates, labels around the world take the lion’s share of what streaming payouts are due to be paid the artist.

So what can really be done? Is this the only way?

Turns out streaming music actually does pay the rent… in Sweden!

U.S. distributions typically employ a “downloads and purchases” method for music consumption. However, only 0.01% of U.S. music consumers bother to pay for their streaming, averaging $55 per music consumer annually.

In Sweden, where “streaming” is the main consumption focus, 10% of the music-consuming population pays for their streaming. This is approximately $120 per music consumer per year.

This might not seem like that much, but those 10% of Swedes paying for streaming translates into nearly 70% of Sweden’s total music industry revenue, and allows artists to be paid five to 10 times more for their share of streaming profits than their American counterparts.

Lesson: we’ve all got to stop being so cheap–all of us. We’re starving each other as artists with each free stream.

In the meantime, Father John Misty trumpeting his SAP (Streamline Audio Protocol) system as satirical way to fight back against (*cough*) music cheapskates.

SAP’s program removes all ‘non-essential elements’ (including, in this case, organic instruments and vocals) and removes the “cost to anyone: artist or fan.”

Quite a clever trick for flipping the industry the bird, and proving what we all already know: good music costs money.

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  1. […] Working from a set of “guiding principles” for both stakeholders and the Copyright Office, the report creates a world where artists might not starve. […]