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Dan Le Sac ponders the actual monetary value of an album

By | Published on Thursday 2 April 2015

Dan Le Sac

This week, with the relaunch of Tidal, the ever-burning flames of the question as to what constitutes fair payments to artists have been fanned yet again. But, asks producer Dan Le Sac in a new column for CMU, what exactly is ‘fair’ when it comes to an album?

“A big selling point of the new Tidal is that it will be ‘fairer’ to artists”, he writes. “But the word ‘fair’ is subjective when it comes to money. Take Spotify. You’ll find plenty of artists who believe getting paid a fraction of a penny per stream is unfair, but if you look at the whole, the fact that Spotify pays around 70% of its total revenue back to rights holders – labels/artists etc – is fair. Running servers, PR, app development and so on are all costly things”.

He goes on: “So instead of being ‘that’ artist grumbling about how much he gets paid for this or that, I want to ask, at a time when someone can stream a whole album and the rights holder only earns around 10p for it, what is an album actually worth? Again ‘worth’ is a subjective term, but in this case I’m talking about cold hard cash”.

Read Dan’s column in full, and find out what he concludes, here.