Deezer Introduces a New Payment System to Directly Compensate Artists for Their Streams

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Photo Credit: Deezer

Deezer launched a new website today touting the benefits of a ‘User-Centric Payment’ system.

The music streaming service is hoping to get rights holders on board to create a new payment structure for artists.  The user-centric payment system will start as a pilot in France early next year.  If that pilot program goes well, the UCPS will roll out to the rest of the world.

Deezer currently handles royalty payouts by paying artists a percentage based on the listens they get. Under the newly proposed system, subscription fees will stop being pooled. Individual subscriptions will only go to the artists you listen to.

In the current accounting and payout system — which is also employed by Spotify and others — an artist receiving 100,000 plays from a fan wouldn’t realize the economic benefit from those direct plays.  Instead, that money would be pooled across millions of artists and their plays, then parsed out based on overall, aggregated spins on the platform.  In the end, DJ Khaled and Ed Sheeran would end up hogging a bigger piece of the action, even from a non-fan.

It’s a bit confusing, so Deezer laid out a graph that helps explain things better. The short answer here is that UCPS addresses issues in which small-time creators are paid much less than mega-stars like Drake.

Deezer says it already has the technology to put the new payment system in place. Now the company just has to get the Big Three major labels on board.  Already, over 40 other labels have agreed to the new payment structure.

Deezer believes the new system could help indie artists earn up to 30% more.

Top streaming artists may see an impact on their bottom line, but Deezer says the decrease will be 10% less. One of the major benefits of UCPS is eliminating streaming fraud from bots, which can impact pooled royalty payments.

The #MakeStreamingFair social media campaign is hoping to bring attention to the new payment method. Deezer says UCPS would help fix chart distortion from younger listeners. The 18-25 market generates 19% of subscribers, but only around 24% total royalties.

The general idea is to get artists paid for the listeners they do have, instead of counting on tiny percentages of a much larger pool.  How successful Deezer will be without the Big Three labels remains to be seen.

11 Responses

  1. Berry

    Great job Deezer.

    The problem is Deezer has a small catalogue and its recommendation function can’t get you new songs so it barely attract users which likely won’t persuade many people to support their artists on Deezer.

    Apple music said it supports indie artists, let’s see if Apple will join this campaign as well.

  2. It Don't Mean A Thing

    If the numbers rent in real time!

  3. hyundai

    Apple music already explored user centric and found out it doesn’t really work well, they stayed on the pool model.


        Only because it was too accurate a count for the Independent artists and now they can hide there crimes better in the dark!
        You really think a these billboard top 100 are the real numbers!!!
        Lil Naz X out play Mariah Carey’s Record?????
        Just like the Recording Academy keeps voting for Beyonce to win her 100th Grammy?
        Can I sell you a bridge?

        • Blobbo

          I’m really ready to just promote via radio and bandzoogle and live shows, and just say F Spotify, and maybe Apple also. These companies don’t give a F about artists. They can keep all those big name hacks producing pure trash.

  4. Shibuya

    if a user streams 2000 songs a month
    another streams 300 songs a month

    user 1 has listened a lot more music than user 2 , but they generate the same royalties.

    How is that fair lol?

    Deezer is a scam.

  5. Blobbo

    The whole system is such bullshit. Someone used to walk or click into a store and buy someone’s product, and then walk out, and that sale was marked directly to that artist. This pool system is nonsense, and people’s heads should roll for it. It supports a system of garbage hackery at the top. I don’t understand why artists lawyers aren’t doing more about this.

    • BAC

      Right, the old system was so much better. You walked into a store and bought a $15.98 list price album. The band’s contract gave them maybe 12 1/2% to 15% of the retail price as net, so a little over $2, to be split 4 or 5 or 6 ways, so about 35 to 50 cents per band member, although shave off a bit more for the manager. But if the the advance wasn’t recouped, the band would never see the money. The label will own the rights to the Master recording for decades. Might be a few years before the writers will see some publishing money, if there wasn’t an advance made. Perhaps they could get a song placed in an Adam Sandler movie that bombed, or some TV series on WB, but that will cost ya.

      • Dean Hajas

        At a 165,000 plays on spotify for my new single in 2 months, I’ve officially got the equivalent of 150 sales according to Music Canada.
        It’s a joke….the numbers are in favour of everyone other then the Creator.

      • BLobbo

        SHove it. This stupid argument that the old system was crap, therefore the new system should also be crap is bullshit.

        In a country not run by stinking sheithead capitalists, there could EASILY be a govt or music union run central music depot, where listeners played small amounts to rent music or more to buy it, just like a transit card, and 90% of their selections went straight to the uploaders, and the rest to administration, all of which would be regulated and controlled. This all-you-can-steal a la carte bullshit should stop, especially when the indies aren’t even tracked properly.

        Your’e a dirty apologist for the bald Swedish thief in Sweden. F him.