CISAC president Björn Ulvaeus speaks out on #BrokenRecord debate

CISAC president Björn Ulvaeus speaks out on #BrokenRecord debate

In his new role as president of CISAC, Björn Ulvaeus has voiced support for the Ivors Academy and Musicians’ Union Keep Music Alive campaign.

Ivors CEO Graham Davies has urged the industry to "fix streaming", with the campaign inspiring the #BrokenRecord and #FixStreaming debate among songwriters and musicians.

Now Ulvaeus has wasted no time in joining the industry discussion. The co-founder of ABBA told Music Week he is in agreement with the Ivors Academy and MU campaign for a new streaming model.

“I read about that and I sympathise, I really do,” he said. “My dream is to get all the parties around the table, so they can look each other in the eye and say, ‘Is it fair? Is this the way forward?’. I don’t think it is, it should be transparent so that everyone knows they are earning what they should earn.”

Ulvaeus stressed that he will now campaign for “transparency” around revenues from streaming. 

“Songwriters are very much worried about streaming and how the streaming cake is divided,” he said. “One thing that I'll be working for is more transparency in the music industry, because it's still very opaque and extremely complex. I think with new technology, it could be much clearer and more transparent, and I will work for that.”

Songwriters are very much worried about streaming and how the streaming cake is divided

Björn Ulvaeus

The BPI and ERA have also responded to the #BrokenRecord debate. ERA CEO Kim Bayley pointed out that “the streaming revolution saved the record business”.

It’s a point accepted by Ulvaeus, who witnessed the rise of Spotify in Sweden.

“Yeah, absolutely the industry in Sweden particularly was dying, completely,” he said. “It was all illegal downloading, it was killing the industry. Streaming was the saviour of the Swedish music industry. You can say what you want about it, it's the way forward. Going back to CD and vinyl, I think that's pure nostalgia. But the [streaming] business model, that’s another story.”

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