Content consumption is on the rise, businesses’ profits are increasing, yet performers still do not receive their fair share. Legislation must be enacted to ensure proper compensation for music performers.

Inalienable Remuneration Right to Performers

The right of music performers to fair and proportionate remuneration for streaming is currently not being realized in accordance with the Copyright Directive. The use of music has grown tremendously with digital services, yet the compensation received by music performers has significantly decreased.

The Copyright Act should include an inalienable remuneration right for music performers for streaming use.

In practice, this would mean that streaming services would be obliged to pay a portion of the revenue generated from streaming music through Gramex to musicians – in the same way as radio stations.

The revenue distribution of streaming services significantly determines the livelihood of music performers

With the rise of digitalization, we have shifted towards consuming music through various streaming services. Music listening has moved from radio and physical recordings to streaming platforms like Spotify, where users can listen to music unlimitedly for a monthly fee.

Behind the content are the music performers – artists and musicians. Streaming services have integrated content into everyone’s daily lives and celebrations more than ever before.

However, the growing popularity does not offer a celebration for music performers – with the shift, their compensation for the use of their works has plummeted, and in some cases, it doesn’t come at all. Both current and future generations primarily enjoy music through streaming services, so in the future, it is specifically the revenue distribution of streaming platforms that will significantly determine the livelihood of music performers.

Content usage is increasing, companies’ profits are growing, yet music performers still don’t have a share.

Most music performers do not receive compensation from streaming services

Music performers invest a significant amount of time and money in creating various content and work passionately on them, but even significant success does not guarantee the performer the financial benefit they deserve.

At present, most music performers do not receive compensation from streaming services, and the rest have to settle for very minimal or even non-existent compensation.

Producers often demand that music performers transfer their rights to the producer as extensively as possible and in exchange for minimal compensation.

Rights represent the economic capital of music performers

Current legislation does not guarantee proper compensation for music performers from streaming: instead, musicians negotiate their compensation themselves with companies that hold stronger bargaining positions. Producers expect music performers to transfer their rights to them and production companies as extensively as possible and for minimal compensation.

The revenue model in the music industry relies on monetizing these rights, and it is precisely these rights that should ensure the livelihood of music performers – they represent the economic capital of music performers.

Studio musicians typically receive only a one-time fee for their work. Therefore, they do not receive any share of the revenue generated from streaming. Royalties, which artists receive based on usage, are generally small in contracts.

Legislation must ensure proper compensation for music performers.

Only a legislative change ensures fairness

It’s clear that musicians aren’t getting a fair share in the distribution of streaming revenues. Individual musicians don’t have the means to defend their rights against major streaming platforms or multinational corporations. Therefore, legislative measures are needed to ensure that musicians receive proper compensation for streaming usage. This is also required by Article 18 of the European Union’s Copyright Directive, which came into force in 2019. According to this directive, member states must ensure that performing artists receive fair and proportionate remuneration for the use of their works.

Increasing musicians’ share to the appropriate level in line with the directive’s requirements can only be achieved through legislative change. Musicians should be granted the right to non-transferable remuneration for streaming usage, with the negotiation of compensation handled by copyright collecting societies, similar to what already occurs for music creators.

Join the campaign!

More details:

Sanni Kahilainen, Communications Manager
+358 44 544 0208

Video and graphics:

Tussitaikurit – Marker Wizards


Vuokko Hovatta