Sony and Warner have both confirmed this month that if and when Spotify goes public, they will share the rewards from their equity stakes in the company with artists.
Indie licensing agency Merlin had previously said the same. Amid the praise for these policies, the International Music Managers Forum has highlighted a relevant question: how on earth will the loot be shared out?
“The problem Merlin, Universal, Sony, and Warner have is not if they will share this money with artists, but how they or their labels will share it,” wrote IMMF chair Volker May.
“We are waiting for the first label group to comprehensively say how it will develop an appropriately defined mechanism, which is fair to all concerned for sharing this money with artists… the first step is to decide on a mechanism for how each artist is valued within a labels catalogue. A weighting for each artist.”
The IMMF is calling for an open industry discussion on the likely methodology. We’ll see how the labels feel about that in the coming months.