Björn Ulvaeus
Photo credit: TT News Agency

Global collecting societies body CISAC has published its annual report, and the introduction by its president – ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus – didn’t pull his punches in an introduction titled ‘We must make life fair for creators, or we will lose the next Paul McCartney’.

Fairness in streaming is his focus.

“We need to keep looking at why music and creative works are systematically devalued,” wrote Ulvaeus. “For example, the lack of recognition of the songwriter; the power of digital platforms; the erosion of subscription prices over many years; untransparent algorithms that influence our choices; and the split of the digital pie that is skewed against the songwriter.”

Ulvaeus also addressed the debate around generative AI.

“I like AI-powered tools and I use them, and I am convinced they will help creators improve their works. However, AI comes with its own set of problems – not least the copyright status of AI-created works.”

Ulvaeus would like to see those challenges “addressed at the highest level, including through a forum such as the United Nations”. He may well have the clout to help make that happen.

“These are priorities that are crucial for the future well-being of creators. How well we manage them will, I believe, shape our future cultural landscape,” warned Ulvaeus.

“Can we have another Paul McCartney? I hope we can – but it will only happen if we make the streaming world a fairer place for creators today.”

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight