Deezer called for a new approach to artist remuneration - now it's testing streaming models with UMG

Deezer called for a new approach to artist remuneration - now it's testing streaming models with UMG

Earlier this year in a wide-ranging interview with Music Week, Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira called for new ideas for streaming - including how music creators are remunerated.

Now the Paris-based, global DSP is working with Universal Music Group on an initiative to investigate potential new economic models for music streaming that more fully recognise the value artists create.

Through this collaboration, UMG and Deezer aim to develop new methods that “holistically reward recording artists and songwriters for the value they create and to reimagine and update the engagement model for Deezer’s users and the artists they love”. 

Earlier this year, UMG’s CEO & chairman Sir Lucian Grainge revealed that the major was investigating new approaches for streaming remuneration, although did not appear to back the user-centric model. It is also working with Tidal on new approaches.

Deezer was, of course, one of the first platforms to explore user-centric remuneration in an effort to help assure artists are compensated fairly. It is not yet clear what approaches are being tested, although the statement described them as fan- and artist-focused.

“This [latest] initiative underscores the company’s continuous and unwavering commitment to advancing these efforts across its platform,” said Deezer.  

The streaming remuneration model has not evolved meaningfully since DSPs gained in popularity with fans over a decade ago.   

The new initiative between Deezer and UMG will seek to better align the interests of artists, fans and streaming services and explore ways in which artists at every point in their careers and from every genre and geography can more fully benefit commercially from streaming. 

Based on deep data analysis, the partnership will look at the benefits and evaluate the viability of different economic models aimed at driving subscriber growth, forging stronger bonds with music fans on the platform and developing commercial opportunities that benefit artists and the broader music community.

With this initiative together with UMG we will look into how we can improve the model to everyone’s benefit

Jeronimo Folgueira

Deezer projects and features include super fan rewards, in-app livestreaming and VOD concerts, alongside lyric translations, music quiz functionality and more. Through this initiative with UMG, Deezer will gain insights that will inform future experiential features and monetisation options.

Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO, Deezer, said: “As a key player in the music industry, we work with all labels to find ways to make the ecosystem fairer and help artists monetize their music better. The current system has clear issues that need to be addressed, such as increasing amounts of non-music tracks uploaded on platforms, poor quality covers with misspelt artists’ names and songs to 'steal' streams, and people trying to trick the system with the length of tracks. This hurts true artists, makes it harder for new ones to emerge and also damages the fan experience. 

“We believe in quality and fairness at Deezer and with this initiative together with UMG we will look into how we can improve the model to everyone’s benefit. Music is extremely undervalued today and as part of the artist-centric discussion we are keen to find additional ways of increasing monetisation, to the benefit of real artists, the labels and platforms like Deezer.” 

“Deezer has long advocated for a re-evaluation of subscription’s economic model,” said Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP, chief digital officer. “We’re thrilled Jeronimo and his team are partnering with us to explore how we can evolve streaming for the benefit of the entire ecosystem of artists, labels, platforms and fans. Such collaboration is critical to the success of the Artist-Centric initiative. While there won’t be one uniform quick fix - subscriber acquisition and retention dynamics and metrics vary by platform - our partnership with Deezer will help accelerate this entire enterprise.”

Subscribers can read our full interview with Jeremy Folgueira here.

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