As ambient noise and AI generated content continue to clutter streaming platforms, one major record label is taking action. Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record label, has partnered with French streaming service Deezer to develop a new “artist-centric” payment model. This model aims to remove the financial incentives for spamming playlists with functional noise tracks and strengthen support for dedicated artists.

At the moment, all streams on platforms like Deezer are treated equally in royalty payouts, regardless of content. Some take advantage of this by uploading endless variations of white noise, meant only to boost play counts rather than engage listeners. It’s estimated these “streambait” tactics make up 7% of Deezer’s streams. Under the new system, Deezer will stop monetizing informal uploads like office sounds or AI generated muzak. Only content from verified professionals will generate royalties.

Deezer defines professionals as artists with over 1,000 monthly streams from a minimum fanbase. Streams of qualifying works will now be worth double the original value. Play counts for directly searching an artist will quadruple in payouts. This rewards devotees investing time to find the music they love. Additionally, Deezer plans to replace ambient tracks on its own terms to ensure a quality experience while disincentivizing spam.

Not all have welcomed this development. Some argue it further disadvantages DIY or experimental artists who don’t aim to be full-time professionals. However, supporters say the changes protect creators from bad actors distorting the system. It could mean increased income of up to 10% for qualifying artists currently losing traction to anonymous noise uploads.

By removing the focus on sheer play counts, this novel model shifts power towards recognizing artistic merit over misleading streaming inflation tactics. It remains to be seen if other platforms may adopt incentives prioritizing dedicated fandom over impersonal listenership. But this partnership signifies streaming royalty structures may finally start evolving after many years of stability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *