Rep. Rashida Tlaib calls for streaming royalty reform

        Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, is calling for a fairer streaming revenue model for working musicians. On Tuesday, <a target="_new" href="" rel="noopener">Rolling Stone reports</a>, she circulated a letter among her colleagues proposing the creation of a new streaming royalty. It’s a plan she’s been working on in collaboration with the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) — an organization that “aims to organize music workers to fight for a more just music industry, and to join with other workers in the struggle for a better society,” according to its mission statement — in order to improve conditions for struggling artists in the United States.

        “While the music industry has experienced an economic revival with the success of streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music, the current lack of regulation or codified streaming music royalty program has driven a race to the bottom,” Rep. Tlaib’s letter states, according to a UMAW press release. “Streaming music platforms’ payouts per stream are miniscule, and declining each year — leaving working musicians with little of the income generated by these platforms.” The FADER has reached out to Representative Tlaib’s office for a copy of the original letter.

        “UMAW has been working toward this legislation for over two years,” added Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, an organizer with UMAW, a solo artist, and the co-founder and lead guitarist of Downtown Boys, in the same release. “Tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Spotify, and others have sent music industry profits skyrocketing, but working musicians aren’t seeing any of that money. It’s time that we get our fair share.”

        Read more about UMAW’s Justice at Spotify campaign on <a target="_new" href="" rel="noopener">the organization’s website</a>.
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