Nile Rodgers has criticized streaming services for being unfair to artists, by not renumerating them “properly or equally.”
Although the 68-year-old Chic musician is a fan of how easy it is to share music with fans via streaming, he thinks the system is outdated and artists need to be “remunerated properly” by their record labels.
The “Get Lucky” hitmaker told The Guardian newspaper: “It is not the streaming services that we have the problem with – it is fantastic that they can distribute our product in such an effective, wonderful way and keep a great digital trail. It is the labels that are perpetrating the issues that need to be seriously addressed. The fact is the system is unfair.
“Artists and writers are not remunerated properly or equally. They do not get their fair share of the pie. To fix this we need to have transparency and artists should be paid on a license, not a sale. Alongside this, songwriters should be getting a much bigger share as they are delivering the key ingredient. We don’t even know what a stream is worth and there’s no way you could even find out what a stream is worth, and that’s not the basis for a satisfactory relationship.”
Musician Nadine Shah agrees, saying: “I love streaming. I stream a lot of music myself. The access we have to all kinds of music from all over the world is incredible. But I believe streaming must be fixed. The three major labels are bragging about record profits while thousands of musicians are seeing virtually nothing coming back to them. Streaming is here to stay, as it should. What then can fix it and make it better for artists? A user-centric system whereby the artists you choose to play see direct payment from your subscription fee?”