Led Zeppelin founder and guitarist Jimmy Page has called on streaming services to “make fair payments to all musicians.”
The 76-year-old Heston native voiced his opinion on streaming royalties in an Instagram post. Jimmy Page says he felt compelled to pen the note after viewing the comments that singer-songwriter Nadine Shah, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, and Elbow frontman Guy Garvey offered when speaking before the Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on November 24th.
During the nearly three-hour-long session, which is part of the DCMS Committee’s much-publicized investigation into streaming royalties, Nadine Shah signaled that she struggles to pay her rent despite having more than 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify (and a similarly strong following on other platforms). Subsequently, DCMS Committee Chair and Solihull MP Julian Knight said he’d learned that some would-be witnesses were “reluctant” to address lawmakers “because they fear action may be taken against them if they speak in public.”
“I fully appreciate the dilemma surrounding streaming royalties that should be rightfully paid to all musicians and writers who made the music,” Page wrote.
“The sooner the streaming companies can make fair payments to all musicians whose music is played on or viewed via the internet, and to pay fair royalties to those who give us great pleasure from those who are exploiting it, the better.”
A recent survey from The Ivors Academy and The Musicians’ Union, both of which are based out of the UK, determined that 82% of artists took home less than £200 (about $266.69) per year in 2019. These stats – as well as the fact that 92 percent of respondents said that just five percent of their 2019 income was attributable to streaming – are worth considering in the broader context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Compounding these existing fiscal realities, a different study yet estimated earlier this month that the novel coronavirus and its associated lockdown measures have brought about a 47 percent decline in the number of young musicians touring Europe. Given this unprecedented disruption to the live event sphere (as well as the surprising per-stream royalties paid by Spotify and other streaming services), approximately 33 percent of British musicians are considering quitting the music industry, according to a separate analysis.
Here’s Jimmy Page’s full statement on streaming royalties:
“Having recently viewed the Select Committee for Music Streaming on 24 November 2020 I feel compelled to write this letter.
I fully appreciate the dilemma surrounding streaming royalties that should be rightfully paid to all musicians and writers who made the music.
The sooner the streaming companies can make fair payments to all musicians whose music is played on or viewed via the internet, and to pay fair royalties to those who give us great pleasure from those who are exploiting it, the better.
Jimmy Page OBE”