As we celebrate Labor Day, it’s good to remember that the idea is to honor American workers. In our industry, that is the songwriters, session musicians, session vocalists, producers, engineers and featured artists.
I’m glad to be included in today’s podcast of Your Morning Coffee with Jay Gilbert and Mike Etchart which is one of the top five best music industry podcasts out there. Jay wanted to compare the market-centric model to the user-centric model as well as the proposal for streaming remuneration paid by the services to fairly compensate the workers for the vast wealth that has been transferred to companies like Spotify (and specifically to Daniel Ek). This is most recently reflected in Spotify’s second stock buy back of $1 billion that they tendered at the same time they are suing songwriters for lower rates and trying to pass themselves off as a struggling loss-making small business.
Jay also included the entire interview on his YouTube channel for a deeper dive and a discussion of the paper I co-wrote for WIPO on streaming remuneration.
So on this Labor Day, let’s remember the fact that while streaming has made a lot of people rich (starting with Mr. Ek), we have much work to do to get to fairness.