Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis has been leading the demands for songs (as opposed to recordings) to get a bigger share of streaming royalties. It’s a campaign that led to criticism from NMPA boss David Israelite earlier this month.

Now there is some interesting new context to that locking of industry antlers. According to Billboard, Mercuriadis “has hundreds of songwriters on board for a guild he’s planning similar to Hollywood’s Writers Guild of America”, which will be campaigning on a range of issues, including the division of the streaming pie.

“There’s no secret the songwriter is the worst-paid person in the equation. No negotiation should ever take place that affects how a songwriter is paid that doesn’t have the songwriter represented in the negotiation,” said Mercuriadis.

The new guild will apparently operate independently of Hipgnosis, although the company’s role in it will surely not go down well with the major publishers.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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