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Kevin Brennan on Streaming: “The System Simply Isn’t Working for Creators”

Musician and advocate of fixing streaming Kevin Brennan MP spoke to MU members at the 39th Musicians’ Union Biennial Delegate Conference.

Published: 13 August 2021 | 12:05 PM Updated: 13 August 2021 | 5:34 PM
Photograph of a mixing desk, behind which we can see the blurred figures of musicians performing on stage under bright lighting.
"Persuading Government to fix streaming will need support from across the political spectrum." Photo credit: Shutterstock

A “very proud member of the Musicians’ Union,” Kevin Brennan, the MP for Cardiff West has been a strong advocate of musicians in Parliament and on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

As a committee member, he was instrumental in getting the groundbreaking music streaming inquiry and resulting report that calls for a “complete reset” of the streaming model.

“I believe in the evidence that the system simply isn't working for creators, for musicians and for songwriters. Too much of the revenue is going to the record labels, going to the streaming platforms, going to everybody except the creators themselves,” Kevin told Conference delegates.

Changing the law for equitable remuneration

Working with the MU, I’m developing a bill in Parliament...which will change the law to create for musicians an unwaivable right for some remuneration every time a recording that they played on is streamed one of the streaming platforms,” Kevin explained.

That means equitable remuneration – which is the MU’s number one objective in the Fix Streaming campaign. Kevin’s bill will be debated on 3 December, and the MU will be encouraging members to action in the run up to that date.

“It's entirely appropriate that we should try to change the law in order to make sure that some of that money, some of those billions of pounds and record profits that are being raked in by record labels, huge sums of money that are being raked in by streaming platforms, are trickling down into the pockets of the creators themselves and musicians who actually make the music,” he added.

Together we can fix streaming

Persuading Government to fix streaming will need support from across the political spectrum, which is why Kevin ended his message conference with a rallying call to action:

“Make sure that you support me and the union in what we’re trying to do to get more into the pockets of musicians by contacting your MP, by coming along to events, by speaking, by tweeting, by using social media to make sure that people understand this is not just about the few.

“This is about the many musicians who play on records and the musicians who tour and play live; the people who give pleasure to millions of people across the world with the music that they create.”

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