Legendary British songwriter and The Kinks frontman Ray Daives has lamented the “pittance” paid to artists as a result of the streaming revolution.
In a conversation with Music Week, Davies said that streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music provide an ideal way of ensuring that artists get paid, but that the spoils are not sufficient.
“The good thing now is that a lot of artists get the royalties instead of getting shafted like a lot of my generation did,” Davies said. “Someone said to me the other day that streaming is a good way of policing music. You get something eventually, but it’s such a pittance. Record contracts are hell.”
He also pointed out how instant access to music has watered down its appeal.
“Music has become erectile dysfunctional - you can get it whenever you want it,” he said. “Streaming is great for people who can’t afford to buy albums. But it’s become passé, uncaring and unfeeling, because you can have anything you want at any time. It’s a great time for getting anything in an instant, but it’s the hidden cost that worries me. The big tech companies, they are the people that are cleaning up.”
However, it wasn’t just streaming that Davies singled out for criticism for the treatment of artists and performers.
“Even touring is a racket,” he continued. “You’ll probably find that expenses get higher for artists because savvy production people will say, They’ve got to tour more so we can charge them more. Artists will always get shafted.
“Whether it’s intentionally or part of the business or just the cost of being an artist. It’s tough. But at the same time they keep coming, and fair dos to them.”