What is the value of exposure when exposure is all there is?
There is an existential debate going on at the moment, around whether streaming is paying artists enough. It may feel like a rerun of old debates but it is catalysed by COVID-19 decimating artist income. These are some of the key narratives: here, here and here.
In this piece I lay out the underlying economics of the argument. I also focus wholly on artist income as songwriter income is another topic entirely.
COVID-19 has reset the debate
The latest streaming royalty debate is not an isolated event. It is happening because COVID-19 has decimated live income, leaving many artists worrying about how to make ends meet. Last week, just before this whole debate kicked into gear I wrote:
“Live’s lockdown lag may have the knock-on effect of making artists take a more critical view of their streaming income. When live dominated their income mix, streaming’s context was…
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