20 euro bill on white and blue textile

Deezer’s new ‘artist-centric’ model, co-designed with UMG, is going to debut in France first.

It’s thus no surprise to see Believe, which is headquartered there, become the first music company to publicly offer its views on the plans.

It’s fair to say those views are mixed.

In a statement, Believe welcomed Deezer’s plans to crack down harder on streaming fraud and to exclude ‘non-artist noise content’ from its royalty payouts.

However, Believe is less impressed with the plan to ‘double boost’ artists with more than 1,000 streams a month from more than 500 unique listeners. Why? Because logically that means penalising artists who don’t meet that double-threshold.

“As a company working with artists and labels at all levels, Believe considers that all artists shall be compensated equally by streaming services regardless of their stage of development,” said Believe in its statement.

“We strongly oppose an unfair ‘reverse Robin Hood’ system that is centered around taking compensation from rising artists to allocate it to top and established artists. Further, it is our belief, based on data, that such a system would reduce diversity and discourage creativity.”

CEO Denis Ladegaillerie suggested that “we are experiencing commercial negotiations to lower the market share of all independent artists”.

UMG has claimed the opposite – that artist-centric models will support all levels of artist. But we sense the pushback from the independent sector may only just be starting.

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