(Credit: Clem Onojeghuo)

Over 300 songwriters write an open letter to record labels calling for fair payment

Hundreds of songwriters have signed their names to a letter penned by Helienne Lindvall, the Chair of the Songwriter Committee & Board Director at The Ivors Academy of Music Creators, in protest of the current profit cuts that artists receive for their work.

Amongst the 300+ signatories are the Godfather of Disco – aka Giorgio Moroder – alongside Paloma Faith, West End musical’s guru Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jess Glynne, to name but a few. 

The letter poignantly reads, “We all know how much songwriters are relied upon, not only for songs but for inspiration, direction and development within the contemporary music industry. Emerging artists are often put into the hands of songwriters first.”

“Even when many hours of a writer’s work do not “make the record”, it provides necessary comparison for A&R decision-making. These creators undertake a huge personal and professional investment in every artist who walks through their doors.”

The letter later calls-out streaming services for the low pay-per-play rates that the artists receive, “100,000 streams of a song will not cover the price of a cup of coffee. A songwriter could have many millions of streams and still be incapable of making rent in the cities where their work is done.

“Songwriters of the past risked their investment because there was a chance of returns if a song was used or indeed a hit. Without the possibility of those returns where is the incentive? This question should cause us to reflect.”

The letter then goes on to make a controversial call that artists should be paid a per diem by their labels of at least £75 for their work. Later suggesting a host of other methods that would make the money side of the music industry fairer for all involved. 

This letter comes only a few days after Spotify launched the website Loud & Clear which aims to share economic transparency of the streaming service with the artists that it hosts.  

At the time of writing, no major record labels have issued a public response to the letter.

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