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Music platform Deezer launches "artist-centric" streaming model

The Deezer app
The Deezer app Copyright Canva
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By Jonny Walfisz
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The French music streaming app Deezer has teamed up with Universal Music Group to launch the new streaming model.

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For the past few years, music artists have complained about the lack of residuals from online streaming platforms. French streaming app Deezer has launched a new model that is aiming to tackle the problem.

Deezer has teamed up with Universal Music Group (UMG) to create an “artist-centric streaming model, designed to better reward the artists”. Launching this Q4 in France and then expanding to other territories, the model will pay artists more if their song has been picked out by a user.

Artists will receive a smaller payout if their songs play as part of an algorithmic playlist. This is both intended to reduce the influence of algorithmic programming, as well as reward artists with dedicated followings.

The platform will also reward “professional” artists with higher payment if they receive at least 1,000 streams from 500 unique listeners a month.

The combined model from Deezer and UMG could shake up an industry whose artists have regularly complained about financially losing out from the introduction of streaming services.

“This is the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming and a change that will support the creation of high-quality content in the years to come,” said Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Deezer.

“At Deezer we always put music first, providing a high-quality experience for fans and championing fairness in the industry. We are now embracing a necessary change, to better reflect the value of each piece of content and eliminate all wrong incentives, to protect and support artists. There is no other industry where all content is valued the same, and it should be obvious to everyone that the sound of rain or a washing machine is not as valuable as a song from your favourite artist streamed in HiFi.”

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Deezer has around 9.4 million subscribers and is the sixth biggest paid subscription service. Spotify is the biggest with 220 million subscribers. Deezer’s boasts around 200 million songs, a significantly higher number than the Spotify catalogue which stands at around 80 million.

Yet, only a small proportion of the artists uploading content to Deezer will benefit from the additional professional boost. Of all the uploaders, only 2% have more than 1,000 unique monthly users.

Alongside the measures to increase artist revenue, Deezer and UMG have also announced policies to cut down on fraudulently uploaded content and reduce non-artist noise on the platform.

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