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Proposed Living Wage for Musicians Act May Grant Artists Greater Financial Survival

Updated: May 1

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, two Congressional representatives have introduced a bill aimed at increasing the amount of money musicians make from streaming services. The proposed legislation called the Living Wage for Musicians Act, was introduced by Rashida Tlaib of Detroit and Jamaal Bowman of the Bronx.

The bill was created in partnership with the United Musicians and Allied Workers union and calls for "economic justice and fairness in streaming," according to a release from Tlaib's office.

The act would create a new streaming royalty of one cent per stream when an artist's music plays on streaming services. The report notes that streaming has become the dominant way people listen to music, making up 84% of the recorded music industry's revenue. However, the leading streaming platform, Spotify, only pays an average of $0.003 per stream.

This means an artist would need to reach 800,000 monthly streams to earn a full-time wage of $15 per hour.

The new royalty proposal would be paid on top of existing royalties, guaranteeing that artists receive at least one cent per stream with an eventual cap on the total amount of profit per month. The additional payments would be funded through a tax on the streaming platforms' non-subscription revenue and a small increase to the cost of music streaming subscriptions.

Tlaib said in a statement that her city's artists "have changed the music industry and our culture in so many incredible ways. It's only right that the people who create the music we love get their fair share, so that they can thrive, not just survive."

Bowman, a founder of the Congressional Hip-Hop Task Force, added that "it is unconscionable that in order to buy a cup of coffee, an artist needs someone to stream their song over a thousand times.

Artists and musicians across the country deserve to be paid for their work."

Tlaib and Bowman previously teamed up in 2022 when they introduced a similar resolution calling for economic justice and fairness in streaming.

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