Electronic Artists & DJs: Fair pay for producers // Fair Trade

Propeller

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A Facebook group has been set up by Luke Chable to campaign for "better pay equality for music producers/artists".

Their basic grievance is that DJ's play someone else's music in clubs and at festivals and get paid fees without any of this going back to the artists whose records they play. Also, DJ streams are posted on the net where someone else's records are played and then the DJ asks for donations from the viewers. Combine this with the fact that most artists get very little in earnings from digital sales and streaming services.

Check it out here: Log into Facebook | Facebook
 

Bluemoon

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In my country we have something called Tono. Im not really sure 100% how it works but all restaurants, nightclubs and other places who play music have to pay a tono fee monthly or yearly. And this money is then distributed to music artists and labels. How the distribution of money works im not really sure.

I see on their website that they have 34 000 members (restaurants, clubs etc who have to pay). And they have a list of over 3 million artists and labels that are receiver of the money.

Sounds great but also very complicated and have no idea how they calculate who gets what. If the clubs have to report what music they played or how it works i have no idea.

Last year they distributed 77 million dollars to copyright owners and labels.
 
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Gagi

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I think I've heard of something similar to Tono, maybe we have the same thing here, not sure.

Anyways, what's really gonna happen is DJs will play their own tracks, if they are also producers. Not sure I support this, although I get why it would make sense for some.

I mean, I guess everything has been properly monetized, besides live streams. How much more would that bring?
 
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PeterMartijn

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Hm... mixed feelings about this. If you are not getting played, you certainly won't get any money from producing and your name won't be listed at all. Start dj'ing yourself, if you think you should earn more money from your music. Producing won't make you rich.
 

Propeller

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Hm... mixed feelings about this. If you are not getting played, you certainly won't get any money from producing and your name won't be listed at all. Start dj'ing yourself, if you think you should earn more money from your music. Producing won't make you rich.
It takes time, effort and talent to make good music. To not get paid for it is like working for free. Do you want a job where you work for free?

Not everyone wants a DJ lifestyle, the late nights, constant travel, etc. Why shouldn't the producers be paid well? At the moment the system is set up in such a way to milk the producers whilst the DJs rake in the money. The point of this campaign is to change that, make the system fair for producers.

I can't see why anyone would have mixed feelings about that, except those who benefit from the current the system. Those who exploit other people's talent and hard work to make money for themselves.
 

Magdelayna

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Hm... mixed feelings about this. If you are not getting played, you certainly won't get any money from producing and your name won't be listed at all. Start dj'ing yourself, if you think you should earn more money from your music. Producing won't make you rich.
Thats a not a good point of view...theres many more other ways to make money as a producer than just DJing....as someone mentioned,you may not want that lifestyle. If youre good enough theres other avenues.
 

PeterMartijn

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It takes time, effort and talent to make good music. To not get paid for it is like working for free. Do you want a job where you work for free?

Not everyone wants a DJ lifestyle, the late nights, constant travel, etc. Why shouldn't the producers be paid well? At the moment the system is set up in such a way to milk the producers whilst the DJs rake in the money. The point of this campaign is to change that, make the system fair for producers.

I can't see why anyone would have mixed feelings about that, except those who benefit from the current the system. Those who exploit other people's talent and hard work to make money for themselves.
I never said you have to work for free, but the music industry is oversaturated with producers, whether if they have talent or not. That is draining the value of productions. If you want to earn money, you should focus on a more commercial genre, not trance.
 
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PeterMartijn

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Thats a not a good point of view...theres many more other ways to make money as a producer than just DJing....as someone mentioned,you may not want that lifestyle. If youre good enough theres other avenues.
Yeah, but if you are good enough, the trance-scene won't earn you enough money to start a living. You should look to other genres to start making some money or start ghost producing.
 

Propeller

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I never said you have to work for free, but the music industry is oversaturated with producers, whether if they have talent or not. That is draining the value of productions. If you want to earn money, you should focus on a more commercial genre, not trance.
I disagree. What's draining the value of productions is the way the whole system of music consumption is set up to benefit a small number of big commercial players at the expense of ordinary producers. Suggest you watch this video

 

dmgtz96

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It takes time, effort and talent to make good music. To not get paid for it is like working for free. Do you want a job where you work for free?
Supply and demand governs this, not talent. That being said, the proportion that labels take compared to the artists themselves is awful and essentially exploitative. I don't know how things are like in trance, but in kpop the entertainment companies take 80-90% and distribute the rest among the actual producers. This is how you end up with artists getting paid $9000 USD for seven years of work, even if your group had multiple charting hits.
 

Propeller

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Supply and demand governs this, not talent. That being said, the proportion that labels take compared to the artists themselves is awful and essentially exploitative. I don't know how things are like in trance, but in kpop the entertainment companies take 80-90% and distribute the rest among the actual producers. This is how you end up with artists getting paid $9000 USD for seven years of work, even if your group had multiple charting hits.
I don't think it is about supply and demand. People generally don't buy poorly made music. Watch the video I posted above, it explains a lot. It's from a house artist but the same thing applies across all electronic music genres.
 
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Toadcop

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well gl hf UuU if they really want to "control" the situation they should just release/sell their stuff on bandcamp like services or rely on donations/kickstarter or just be ghost producer (a fair payed job) i mean there are many ways to make money if you are good. but you shouldn't expect some super previliges just because you once made something.
 
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Hensmon

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The potential issue with this is that DJ's only start playing either their own tracks, tracks of artists they want to fund or the cheapest tracks available (assuming that artists price their music differently). Ultimately the music will suffer for that.

Sampling is a good example where monetisation and the obsession of ownership completely killed the creativity and room for expression in music. The entire electronic music scene was propelled thanks to the sharing/sampling of music. Tracks like FSOL - Papua New Guinea would not be made or released today because it contains many samples that would cost stupid amounts to use in todays world. What we really need is for people to ditch piracy and streaming services and start paying for music again, then producers can thrive and create without the need for added restrictions.
 

dmgtz96

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What we really need is for people to ditch piracy and streaming services and start paying for music again, then producers can thrive and create without the need for added restrictions.
That's not going to happen. The former are significantly more convenient than the latter.
 

Propeller

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What we really need is for people to ditch piracy and streaming services and start paying for music again, then producers can thrive and create without the need for added restrictions.
Well, yes, that is the crux of the matter. Streaming and Youtube make zero money for the artists whilst the ad revenue generated by these platforms equals huge profits for them. So, some artists like Blank & Jones rightly block the publishing of their tracks as it means giving away their work for free. Problem is that people think they are entitled to free music. In another thread here there is criticism of Blank and Jones for their stance on copyright but none of those critics want to go to Beatport and buy their tracks. Totally ridiculous, asking someone to give away their hard work for free.

One of those critics runs a popular YT channel where he posts tracks and then asks for donations from viewers so he could buy more records. Again, ridiculous as the artists make no money from his channel but he thinks he can just take other people's work and make money himself.

These kinds of selfish and self centred attitudes, along with illegal file sharing, are what's been choking the dance music scene in the digital age. These and other issues are what the artists on Facebook are campaigning to change.

If, for example, DJs had to publish their sets every time they played and then had to pay 10% of their booking fee to the artists whose tracks they used then that would make a huge difference to those artists. With some reward for their work they would feel motivated to continue to make better music as opposed to quitting producing, which is what a lot of them do after only a couple of years in the business.
If DJs started to play only their own tracks to get around any such rules then their sets would suffer, they might miss out on bookings, etc.

Also, instead of posting tracks on YT, streaming platforms and even the major download sites many artists are choosing to publish themselves on Bandcamp, where most of the revenue goes to them. So, change is happening slowly. The current situation with COVID and the closure of clubs and festivals will hopefully accelerate the change in the positive direction.
 
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Magdelayna

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Streaming and Youtube make zero money for the artists
Wrong - as an artist you can make quite a bit of money from those sources - Youtube splits the ad money with you. In fact its a much better situation now for artists than the mid 2000s where you only had digital labels,and not making very much money on releases.

The Bandcamp change is a good one for artists - and its gathering momentum.
 
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dmgtz96

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In another thread here there is criticism of Blank and Jones for their stance on copyright but none of those critics want to go to Beatport and buy their tracks. Totally ridiculous, asking someone to give away their hard work for free.
I won't support artists that historically placed roadblocks so people couldn't hear their music, even remixes by other producers of their own work. I am not paying $1.29 per track for tracks that are already 20 years old.
I'd much rather pay for a new Magdelayna or Airwave album.
 
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Hensmon

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That's not going to happen. The former are significantly more convenient than the latter.
I wouldn't be so sure. Bandcamp as a platform represents that change quite well. On their website they claim that 15.8million has already been contributed to artists this month alone. Also more and more people question Spotifys payment model, which favours only the commercial acts and does not represent the individuals listening choices (i.e If i spend 95% of 1000 listens to an underground band that band will only get 0.1% of my 10 bucks a month, the rest to Kanye or someone.) More platforms are addressing this. Vinyl sales have also been steadily increasing year on year, and with it sites like Discogs market place. The appetite is there.

Behaviour on how we consume music has to keep changing to see real positive impact. It feels like the monetisation of every aspect of the industry just kills creativity and gives more problems. Not saying this is the case for the Fair Play Pay idea here, but its more complicated that it appears.
 
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