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Musicians lobby Spotify as Bandcamp shows support

Online music marketplace Bandcamp waives its revenue share for 24 hours to support artists, as musicians pressure streaming giant Spotify to up royalty payments

By Anna Grace on 20 Mar 2020

Musicians lobby Spotify as Bandcamp shows support

Artists are asking Spotify to triple the amount it pays out per stream, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put the brakes on live events.

An online petition initiated by US musician Evan Greer demands that Spotify triple its royalty rates permanently “to put urgently needed cash into artists’ pockets”. The campaign also calls on the streaming giant to make a $500,000 donation to the Sweet Relief Covid-19 fund, which is dedicated to providing financial support to musicians.

The pressure on Spotify comes as online music marketplace and discovery platform Bandcamp waives its revenue share on sales for 24 hours until midnight (PT) on 21 March, dedicating 100% of proceeds from music and merch to artists. The site, which has generated $10.3 million for artists in the past 30 days, typically takes a cut of between 15% and 10% on all sales.

“Many artists have found merch and digital sales to be a last remaining financial lifeline”

“With the Covid-19 pandemic decimating live music and shuttering record shops, many artists have found merch and digital sales to be a last remaining financial lifeline as they confront a very real threat to their livelihoods,” reads a statement on Bandcamp’s website.

“It’s more important than ever for fans to support musicians by purchasing from them directly.”

Artists are using the platform to see exclusive merchandise from cancelled tours and make surprise releases, whereas labels are dedicating revenue from sales on the site to food banks, public health charities and musician relief funds.


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