New wave icon Gary Numan claims that he’s earned only £37, roughly $50, from a song with a million streams. The iconic performer claims that this has been a persistent problem for years, as he urges streaming platforms to pay artists a better rate.
“The solution’s simple,” Numan said in a statement to Sky News. “The streaming companies should pay more money. They’re getting it for nothing.”
Numan’s statement comes at a time when the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport inquiry looks into streaming payments, which have been a recent source of contention between artists and streaming platforms.
Numan isn’t alone in his struggle against streaming royalty rates. Last year, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers launched a “Justice At Spotify” initiative, urging increased royalty rates per stream. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was recently caught in the crosshairs of this controversy, when he suggested that artists not being paid enough per stream was a “narrative fallacy.” His response was universally condemned by musicians from across the industry.
Other artists such as David Crosby, of the legendary country outfit Crosby, Stills & Nash, recently said he was forced to sell his catalog, due to his inability to perform live at an old age and low royalty rates. “I can’t work …and streaming stole my record money …I have a family and a mortgage and I have to take care of them so it’s my only option ..I’m sure the others feel the same,” the performer wrote.
Numan will be releasing a new album this year called Intruder and debuted music video for the project’s title-track. He released a live album with The Skaparis Orchestra called When The Sky Came Down (Live At Bridgewater Hall, Manchester) in 2019.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried