…from an interview with Bloomberg TV, December 2nd.
Sting: The model is changing obviously, and I don’t think the model we have at the moment is necessarily the one that’s going to be there in five or ten years. We need something that’s a little more equitable for musicians, I think musicians need to be paid for their work.
It’s fine for me, you know I —
Betty Liu (Bloomberg): Well you’ve made your money —
Sting: — I’ve made my money and I’m well off. But young artists beginning their career, the idea of making a living out of this business is tough, and increasingly so. So whatever model is created needs to be equitable.
“I think the streaming model is a good one, but we also need to be paid.”
Betty Liu: So you are on the streaming services, you haven’t opted out of those. So in some ways, do you support these models?
Sting: In a way, I think they’re evolving. I was interested in Taylor Swift’s stand, because I thought it was a brave stand and she also brought it into public debate. So it was good. People need to talk about this. What is good for music? Music is important to our society, and it mustn’t die out, because it’s a vibrant part of society.
Liu: So you agreed with her move, then.
Sting: I thought it was good to get the debate out —
Liu: OK —
Sting: — whether she goes back to Spotify or not is up to her. But I think to raise the debate was a good move.
Liu: Well it’s interesting because when that happened that definitely created some seismic changes —
Sting: “– well a lot of people have no idea that there’s any issue. But musicians need to be paid.”
Liu: But on the other side, I hear people that say, ‘why should artists feel that they have any right to make tons and tons of money like they did in the past?’
Sting: It’s not tons and tons of money, it’s making a living. In this industry you can make a killing, but it’s hard to make a living, and I think it needs to be more equitable.
Liu: So do you think more artists should push back, like Taylor Swift?
Sting: I think the streaming companies have got the idea now, and that they’re working as best they can I suppose to make it better. But it’s evolving, you know every day is different and I’m intrigued where it’s going.
“I’m glad I’m not starting out now in the music industry. That would be a tough one.”
Liu: So do you think you’d be able to make as much money as you have, if you started out now today –?
Sting: — No.