Ne-Yo is the latest musician to criticise streaming music royalties, and like Aloe Blacc and others before him, he’s focusing on the income made by songwriters. His real beef, though, is with the US system of setting royalty tariffs via federal regulations rather than free-market negotiations. “This regulatory system was created over 70 years ago and has not been updated since 2001, before the introduction of the iPod, and before streaming music was made popular,” wrote Ne-Yo. 

“More people are streaming more music today than ever before – and this is a good thing. I want fans to enjoy my music on whatever platform they choose.  But I don’t want my music, and the music of my peers, to continue to be devalued by the streaming companies that reap the benefits of our work at our expense.” His claim that “it takes about 1 million streams for a songwriter to see $90” is already sparking some discussion on his op-ed article, with questions about bundling Pandora in with Spotify and other on-demand services. But his basic points tally with existing debate within the publishing sector nonetheless.

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  1. Hi James, it’s not stolen: it’s prominently linked to in the piece (and in the Music Ally Bulletin, where this originally appeared, the story comes with a ‘Source: Digital Music News’ and the link.

    When DMN pick up one of their stories, they link back to us, and vice versa. It’s how the web works. We published a few quotes from the op-ed rather than republishing the full thing, which would be cheeky.

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