Music streaming: historic agreement for the remuneration of performers



Performers have been waiting for it since the law of July 7, 2016, which provided for an agreement guaranteeing them a minimum remuneration for their recordings broadcast in flux, that is to say in streaming. After the failure of the first negotiations in 2016-2017, this agreement was finally signed, on the night of May 12 to 13 and unanimously, by the unions and organizations representing performers and music producers ( 1), under the aegis of the music mediator at the Ministry of Culture, Jean-Philippe Mochon.

► What was the situation so far?

Currently in France, streaming platforms such as YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, Qobuz or Deezer pay around 70% of their revenue to the producers of the musical titles they broadcast and around 10% to songwriters via Sacem. The performers are paid by the producers. Until now, the latter paid back to the main artists royalties on the receipts of the streaming, but according to very variable methods according to the contracts.

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The accompanying artists received a global fee for their participation in a recording, without specific remuneration for streaming. A state of affairs long denounced by unions and organizations representing performers.

► What does the new agreement provide?

The main performers will now have to receive royalties higher than 10% of the revenues collected by their producer for streaming, this rate being able to reach 28% in certain situations. In addition, they will systematically receive a minimum advance on these royalties of €1,000 per album.

Accompanying musicians or choristers, who are paid per fee, will have to receive an additional specific package for streaming of at least €18 per musician and per title. This additional package will amount to €34 from 7.5 million plays and €42 from 15 million plays, ie a gold single.

In total, this agreement represents the payment of at least several million euros per year to music performers. While it shouldn’t pose a problem for large producers, it can have tricky consequences for smaller houses. This is why the agreement also provides for their support within the framework of the National Fund for Sustainable Employment in Entertainment (Fonpeps), co-financed by the State.

The agreement will be published in the form of an order in the Official Journal and will have to be reviewed every five years.

► How is this agreement historic?

At a time when access to musical works is increasingly taking place online, and not via the sale of records, it was crucial to finally guarantee the remuneration of performers for streaming. At European level, France has already taken strong action to have a directive on copyright and related rights in the digital single market adopted on April 17, 2019 in order to protect the rights of authors and artists. -performers in their relations with the owners of their works. This directive 2019/790 provides in particular, in its articles 18 and following, the principle of “appropriate and proportional remuneration” for the exploitation of their works on streaming platforms.

France is the first country to precisely regulate this remuneration for performers of music broadcast in streaming.

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