Proposed Living Wage for Musicians Act Would Increase Musician Streaming Royalties SuperNayr

Congressional representatives Rashida Tlaib and Jamaal Bowman introduced the proposed Living Wage for Musicians Act on Thursday, aimed at increasing streaming royalties for musicians online.

The resolution, created in partnership with the United Musicians and Allied Workers union, calls “for economic justice and fairness in streaming,” a release from Tlaib’s office reads.

Per the release, the act “would create a new streaming royalty, with the aim to compensate artists and musicians more fairly at a penny per stream when their music plays on streaming services.”

The report goes on to say that streaming has grown to represent 84 percent of recorded music industry revenue, but that Spotify, the leading music streaming platform, only pays an average per-stream royalty of $0.003, meaning an artist must reach 800,000 monthly streams to equal a full-time $15/hour job.

The proposed new royalty would be paid in addition to existing royalties, ensuring that artists receive at least one cent per stream with an eventual cap on the amount of possible profit per month. The additional payments would be funded via a tax on the streaming platforms’ non-subscription revenue and a small increase to the cost of music streaming subscriptions.

Tlaib, a representative of Detroit, said in a statement that her city’s artists “have changed the music industry and our culture in so many incredible ways. It’s only right that the people who create the music we love get their fair share, so that they can thrive, not just survive.”

Bowman, a representative of the Bronx in New York and founder of the Congressional Hip-Hop Task Force, added that “it is unconscionable that in order to buy a cup of coffee, an artist needs someone to stream their song over a thousand times. Artists and musicians across the country deserve to be paid for their work.”

Tlaib and Bowman previously teamed up in 2022 when they introduced a similar resolution calling for economic justice and fairness in streaming.

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