Paris, France, where Deezer is headquartered. Photo Credit: Alexander Kagan
Last week, Digital Music News was first to report that Deezer had inked a deal to enroll a “leading” authors society in its artist-centric model. Now, the Access Industries-owned streaming platform has officially revealed a “collaboration” with France’s SACEM.
SACEM reached out to DMN with a formal announcement about the tie-up – including previously undisclosed (or at least under-the-radar) details about the artist-centric model itself. Created in collaboration with Universal Music Group, said model, which looks to be live in France, will afford a “double boost” to eligible artists who command north of 1,000 monthly streams from 500 or more unique listeners, per Deezer.
Additionally, a second “double boost” is expected to reach “songs that fans actively engage with,” Deezer confirmed in early September and reiterated yesterday. Not initially disclosed about the evidently fluid model, however, was “a monetization cap of a [total of] 1000 streams per individual user per month.”
According to SACEM’s release pertaining to the Deezer pact, “every single user’s contribution to the royalty pool is counted as a [total of] 1000 streams, no matter what the actual amount.” As described in the text, this step will ensure that “available royalties are shared more fairly between the artists the user is listening to each month” while further discouraging “fraudulent behavior.”
Shifting from the noteworthy artist-centric expansion and returning to the Deezer-SACEM agreement, the seemingly non-committal union will first see the parties “analyze streaming data and evaluate the viability of different economic models aimed at remunerating songwriters, composers and publishing rights owners more fairly.”
In a statement, SACEM CEO Cécile Rap-Veber elaborated upon the basics of the “in-depth study” her organization is performing alongside Deezer.
“By proposing an alternative remuneration model via ‘Artist Centric,’” the former Universal Music exec relayed in part, “we welcome Deezer’s desire to put creators and publishers back at the heart of their concerns. This is why we felt it was essential to launch this in-depth study, which we hope will make it possible to increase the value of streaming for our members.”
Notwithstanding this latest exploration of Deezer’s artist-centric model, some remain unconvinced of the framework’s suitability and fairness for emerging acts as well as the broader artist community.
Perhaps most notably, Believe head Denis Ladegaillerie earlier this week said that while embracing the system would prove financially beneficial for his business, he remained unwilling to do so for multiple reasons. Interestingly, Ladegaillerie also spoke of the rumored opposition of one major label – that is, Sony Music or Warner Music – to Deezer’s artist-centric model.
The trend of troubling streaming-compensation adjustments (at least for those who lack major-label support) doesn’t appear limited to Deezer, for evidence suggests that Spotify could be preparing to move forward with several significant pivots in Q1 2024.
According to reports, one of these changes will involve setting a minimum stream-count threshold that songs must hit annually before they can begin collecting royalties.
Though the rumored threshold hasn’t been publicly disclosed, it goes without saying that the proposal will harm the earnings of emerging acts – especially because of the majors’ inherent promotional advantages and the figure’s apparent potential to increase down the line.