Billy Bragg calls on record contracts to be updated

Billy BraggOld fashioned recording contracts prevent artists from receiving the correct renumeration for their music in the digital age, Billy Bragg has said.

The singer songwriter and political activist made the comments ahead of his appearance at the recent MusicTank Artist Economics of Streaming event.

In a blog post from last year Billy highlighted Swedish artists who were planning to sue record labels over music streaming. Prior to his Musictank address, he re-iterated how these musicians and songwriters had ‘identified the real problem’ in the debate surrounding music streaming.

He said: ‘The key to fair renumeration is in our recording contracts … It’s not with the platforms per se. It’s how we are remunerated for streaming – and that lies in historical contracts. That’s the point.

‘If we’re going to complain about the amount of money we’re making, and I think we should, then we need to make sure we’re focusing on the right target. By attacking streaming services, we’re shooting the messenger rather than the actual person who’s making the weather.’

Billy was speaking ahead of his address at last night’s (7 April) MusicTank debate. Simon Wheeler, digital director at Beggars Group, was also on the panel.

According to a Music Week report from the event, the company is looking at reviewing its streaming royalties business model due to the recent growth seen in this market area. .

Previously, the label offered a 50 percent split of any gross streaming income but also stated that this strategy would need to be amended in the future as streaming use increased.