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MU Welcomes Milestone Victory in Fix Streaming Campaign

The MU has expressed its welcome for Universal Music’s recent announcement that the label intends to follow the lead of its major rivals, Sony and Warner, in committing to deliver royalties to unrecouped heritage artists.

Published: 07 April 2022 | 4:25 PM Updated: 07 April 2022 | 5:49 PM
Close up of mixing desk with microphone placed on top, cast in red light.
Heritage acts should now receive royalties without having recouped the advance payments received at the outset of their agreement with the company. Image credit: Shutterstock.

All three major companies have now reflected the moves by leading independent labels - such as the Beggars Group - to review the issue of unrecouped balances, enabling more of their legacy artists to receive payments when their music is streamed.

Heritage acts should now receive royalties without having recouped the advance payments received at the outset of their agreement with the company. Many artists never make enough money to repay their advances, often as a direct result of the royalty rates listed in their contract.

A major milestone in the campaign

The Union highlights the vital work undertaken by all involved in the Fix Streaming campaign, which has led to the investigation by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) into the Economics of Streaming, the Committee’s subsequent report, and the ongoing Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) study of the contemporary recording industry.

Horace Trubridge, MU Senior Executive Officer, said:

“The MU’s campaign to bring fairness to the recorded music industry has been fought for over ten years now and we are delighted to see that the major record companies are at last waking up to the fact that they need to clean up their act. The fact that heritage performers from all genres will now have their unrecouped balances wiped away and will start to receive royalties is a major milestone in the campaign.

“As I move into the final months of my time at the MU, I am immensely proud of what we have achieved so far but we mustn’t take our foot off the gas. As well as making sure that new artists can earn enough from their recordings to ensure that they can stay in the profession, we must secure an income stream from the streaming platforms for the session musicians whose amazing talent contributes towards the success of so many recordings.”

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