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New Poll: Music Fans Want Fairness, Equality in Pay for Artists Across Music Landscape

25 January 2018

Results from a new Morning Consult Survey released today found that 60 percent of adult music listeners believe AM/FM radio, satellite radio and streaming services should pay musicians the same amount of money when their songs are played through those services.

The new data, which comes ahead of Sunday’s 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards, also shows that about 60 percent of Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike agree that regulations governing music licensing and copyright protections should reflect the ways most consumers listen to music today.

“People who love listening to music understand the value it has in their everyday lives and believe that value should be reflected in our laws,” said musicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel. “This survey shows that music listeners not only believe that music laws should be modernized, but that they also hold the industry accountable for how they compensate artists and believe they have a responsibility to do so fairly, whether that be through streaming services, YouTube, FM Radio or any other listening platform.”

The national poll of 2,201 adult music listeners, was conducted earlier this month on behalf of the musicFIRST Coalition. Results from the survey will be released in two phases.

The first phase, focusing on the current laws and compensation for music creators, revealed the following findings:

60 percent or more of adults say that AM/FM radio, YouTube, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio and streaming services (i.e. Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, etc.) have some or a lot of responsibility to fairly compensate music creators for their work.

Two-in-3 adults (64 percent) show strong support for artists being compensated whenever their songs are played on AM/FM radio.

56 percent say SiriusXM should pay the same or more than other digital platforms like Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music, while 58 percent say YouTube should pay about the same or more than Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

10 percent say SiriusXM or YouTube should pay less than other digital platforms.

70 percent of adults surveyed who stream music say they support recording artist being compensated whenever their songs are played on AM/FM radio, and 65 percent say all music-listening services should pay musicians the same amount of money when their songs are played through those services.

Six-in-10 (59 percent) adults agree that music licensing and copyright protection regulations should stay abreast of current trends.

62 percent of Democrats, 57 percent of Independents and 58 percent of Republicans all agree that music regulations should reflect the ways most consumers listen to music today.

A plurality of adults surveyed also found current regulations to be unfair after learning that:

  • Artists of the Motown era, classics of Jazz & Blues and the people who created Rock n’ Roll are not being compensated when their work is played on digital radio, satellite radio or broadcast radio because royalties are not required to be paid for songs recorded before February 15, 1972 under current U.S. federal copyright laws;

 

  • Music creators earn significantly less every time a song is streamed on YouTube than if that same song is streamed on a service like Spotify, based on laws written during dial-up internet and AOL era;

 

  • On a streaming service like Spotify, it takes one thousand streams for the musicians who recorded the song to earn about $7, while the same number of streams on YouTube yields only about $1; and

 

  • The U.S. stands alongside just a few other countries including China, Iran and North Korea, in not recognizing a performance right for music creators.

The second phase of Morning Consult’s music listener research will focus on listener trends and be released in early February.

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