With music artists earning on average less than $0.01 for every time their songs are streamed across various music streaming platforms, Deezer believes a User Centric Payment System (UCPS) will make streaming fairer. Instead of the regularly used market share-based payment system that is widely used in the music streaming industry, Deezer wants to educate listeners on how UCPS benefits music artists more.

Deezer's Premium subscribers can also use the UCPS tool on the website to see exactly how much of their subscription revenues go to artists they listen to, as well as how they would be supporting their favourite artists if UCPS was in place.

“Streaming has been the main innovation driver in the music industry for many years now. Digital technologies and data make it easier than ever to make sure that all artists and content creations have a fair playing field. A user-centric approach is the next logical step and would mean that fans directly support the acts they love. Getting rid of bot fraud is a welcome added bonus and would make sure that your subscription money goes where it’s supposed to - the acts you love,” said Alexander Holland, Chief Content and Strategy Officer at Deezer.

How a User Centric Payment System will work if used by music streaming platforms. Source: Deezer

A fairer music streaming practice

With music artists constantly complaining about how they can barely make a living out of selling their songs or them being streamed, a UCPS sounds like the logical next step that should happen sooner. As it stands, music artists get a share of the subscriptions pool based on how many streams their songs received. This is despite the fact that some listeners might not have streamed the songs of the most popular artists on a streaming service.

The current system robs many independent artists with loyal fan bases.

UCPS is based on the principle that the revenues that streaming fans generate for rights holders and artists should only go to the acts that each user listens to. Today, the streaming industry still uses an outdated market share model based on overall market share to calculate payments, which means that some popular artists and genres get a disproportionate amount of money compared to smaller, local and more niche acts and genres.

The current system can also be manipulated by bot accounts. These accounts fraudulently skew market share and payments by disproportionately playing to certain tracks over and over again. While the music streaming industry has taken a number of important steps to minimise fraud, a UCPS would make streaming fraud a thing of the past, as bot activity would only distribute the revenues from that particular bot account.

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