As the Copyright Royalty Board prepares to weigh in on the future of online music royalty rates, by a 4-1 ratio Americans think that labels and industry groups should get a smaller piece of the revenue pie according to a new CALinnovates survey. The survey of 1,092 Americans found that 53 percent believe that “labels and industry groups should get a smaller slice of the pie so the artists and streaming companies can make a living. ” That is compared to only 12 percent of Americans who said, “streaming companies should be forced to pay more so that the labels and industry groups can keep their share.
“At stake with the pending Copyright Royalty Board is how revenues from online music should be divvied up. Music labels and performing rights organizations have argued that streaming companies should have to pay more, while others have argued that the labels and industry groups should loosen their hold on the industry so that streaming companies can continue to innovate, which will benefit the entire music ecosystem. One thing is clear: Americans want to see songwriters and artists get paid.
78 percent said musicians should make the most money from the sale of streaming music. They also put the labels and industry groups last in the order of priority: only 9 percent believe they should make the most money from streaming music. “It’s time to shake up the status quo and break the hold that the labels and PROs have on the music industry.
Taking that brave step will spark even greater innovation that not only gives music lovers more choices, but also energizes a dynamic creative industry that is at the heart of the American culture and economy,” said Mike Montgomery, executive director of CALinnovates. “Keep in mind that streaming is still a relatively new industry with new technologies, and rates should reflect that. Hiking rates will only trim already thin margins, which will discourage the investments that spur innovation and music’s virtuous cycle.
“The CALinnovates survey, which was conducted from Dec. 12-13, also spotlights the importance of a vibrant streaming issue: digital piracy. Seventy-three percent of Americans said that if streaming sites go out of business, consumers will lose access to a convenient way to listen to their favorite music (29 percent) and artists and songwriters will lose out because their music will be pirated more often (43 percent).
Only 8 percent thought the labels and industry groups would lose out because a key revenue source will go away.