Musicians from all over the globe are livid about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s $25 million deal with Spotify. The royal couple inked the deal to create “woke” podcasts for the streaming service.
The New York Post reported that famous musicians like Paul McCartney, Chris Martin, Kate Bush, Robert Plant and Stevie Nicks called on the British government to reform the way musicians are paid when their songs are streamed online, with many being paid less than a penny per stream. They were especially angry when Spotify boss Horacio Gutierrez told Parliament the Sussexes virtue signaling podcast deal created a “virtuous cycle” that help struggling musicians by getting more people on the site. Struggling musicians, however, could not disagree with this more.
“I’ve been writing songs since I was 12 years-old,” singer-songwriter Callum Gardner told the Star. “I don’t get paid from Spotify, it’s never broken even from the money I used to put songs on Spotify. It’s hard, I don’t know what we are supposed to do because they have all the power and somehow all of the artists have all agreed.”
Harrison Rhys, another young musician, said the Spotify deal with Harry and Meghan was an “unethical kick in the teeth.”
“I believe what Spotify have done is unethical, we are only being paid £0.0038 per stream but they are able to pay out what is probably a multi-million dollar fee to Harry and Meghan,” said Rhys.
“In reality who wouldn’t want to accept that sort of money to have their podcast broadcast and it is likely to be a positive thing for their listeners as The Sussexes definitely are doing a lot of good with their projects around the world,” Rhys continued. “But this last year has been the most difficult one for musicians where many have had the majority of their income lost so I feel this is a kick in the teeth.”
Naomi Pohl, Musicians’ Union Deputy General Secretary, feels the same way.
“Most streaming revenue benefits large corporations like the major labels at the expense of artists making a decent living,” she said. “The time has come for change and we are hopeful the UK Government are listening and that we fix streaming and get a better deal for all music makers.”