Oct 3, 2023 2 min read

French indie Wagram Music signs up to Deezer's "artist centric" approach

French independent label Wagram Music has signed up to participate in the pilot of Deezer’s new “artist-centric” model, despite some in the indie community criticising the streaming firm’s proposed new approach

French indie Wagram Music signs up to Deezer's "artist centric" approach

French independent label Wagram Music has come out in support of Deezer's "artist-centric" approach to allocating royalties to tracks each month.

The indie says that, for years now, the industry has agreed that the current system for sharing out streaming revenues, while having the "advantage of simplicity", nevertheless "needs to evolve".

"The initiative from Deezer", it adds, "with whom Wagram Music has been engaging in discussions about different ways of evolving the streaming model for a long time, aligns with this direction and offers a significant improvement".

The "artist-centric" approach has been developed by Deezer in partnership with Universal Music, and the plan is to start piloting the new system in its biggest market, France, as soon as possible. Though that requires getting the rest of the record industry on board.

Streaming is a revenue share based on consumption share business. Each month a streaming service allocates a portion of its revenues to each track based on what percentage of total consumption it accounted for. It then shares that allocation with whichever entities own the recording and song rights connected to the track.

Under the current system all tracks and all plays are treated equally in this allocation system. Under Deezer's new model, functional audio like white noise and rainfall will be excluded, while plays of tracks selected by the user - rather then by an algorithm - and plays of tracks by "professional artists", will be counted twice.

Some of those proposed changes are supported by the wider music community, though dividing artists into two groups based on total number of listens and listeners each month is more controversial. And plenty of indie labels and distributors have criticised the way Deezer developed its new model, consulting mainly Universal rather than the wider music community.

But Wagram is a supporter of Deezer's new approach and has signed up to participate in the pilot. It's President, Stephan Bourdoiseau, says: “By signing this agreement with Deezer, we reaffirm our commitment to reforming the historical streaming revenue distribution model".

"The system can still be improved, and we invite the actors to seek out these optimisations", he adds. "We will support any similar initiative aimed at improving the current distribution model, developing the value of music, while respecting competition rules, pluralism and diversity".

Deezer boss Jeronimo Folgueira adds: “We’re very happy that Wagram Music, its labels and artists, are joining the launch of the artist-centric model in October. This will benefit all producers, as well as majors and independents".

"Wagram Music has for years been supporting a wide range of artists that create valuable and engaging content", he goes on, "including some of the biggest French stars, as well as great emerging talent, and the new artist-centric model will reward them for continuing doing so".

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