Following their previously announced collaboration, Universal Music Group and Deezer are to roll out an artist-centric streaming model.
The new approach is “designed to better reward the artists, and the music that fans value the most”, according to a statement.
Deezer will launch the model in France, Q4 2023 with additional markets to follow.
The two companies developed the new model together using their respective deep data analysis in an effort to better reflect the true value of artist-fan relationships.
“The collaboration to launch an artist-centric model is driven by the companies’ recognition that the current music streaming model needs to be re-imagined,” said the statement. “While streaming has been the most significant technology advancement in music in many years, a flood of uploads with no meaningful engagement, including non-artist noise content, has necessitated reassessment of the approach that platforms, labels, and artists take to foster a thriving music ecosystem.”
Data indicates that the artists listened to by new subscribers in their first month may drive as much as 25% to 30% of user’s streams over the first two years of their activity on the service.
To reward artists that fans engage with, Deezer will boost the value of their streams that drive engagement on the platform.
Based on Deezer’s in-depth data analysis, the following key enhancements are being integrated into the new artist-centric model:
• Focusing on artists – Deezer will attribute a double boost to what they define as “professional artists” – those who have a minimum of 1,000 streams per month by a minimum of 500 unique listeners – in order to more fairly reward them for the quality and engagement they bring to the platforms and fans
• Rewarding engaging content – additionally assigning a double boost for songs that fans actively engage with, reducing the economic influence of algorithmic programming
• Demonetizing non-artist noise audio - Deezer is planning to replace non-artist noise content with its own content in the functional music space, and this won’t be included in the royalty pool
• Tackling fraud – continuing to drive an updated, and stricter, proprietary fraud detection system, removing incentives for bad actors, and protecting streaming royalties for artists.
Deezer’s catalogue has grown from 90 million to over 200 million pieces of content in the past two years alone. As part of the artist-centric model, Deezer intends to apply a stricter provider policy to ensure quality and a better user experience. This includes steps to limit non-artist noise content.
“This is the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming and a change that will support the creation of high-quality content in the years to come,” said Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Deezer. “At Deezer we always put music first, providing a high-quality experience for fans and championing fairness in the industry. We are now embracing a necessary change, to better reflect the value of each piece of content and eliminate all wrong incentives, to protect and support artists.
“There is no other industry where all content is valued the same, and it should be obvious to everyone that the sound of rain or a washing machine is not as valuable as a song from your favourite artist streamed in HiFi.”
“The goal of the artist centric model is to mitigate dynamics that risk drowning music in a sea of noise and to ensure we are better supporting and rewarding artists at all stages of their careers whether they have 1000 fans or 100 thousand or 100 million,” said Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP and chief digital officer.
“With this multi-faceted approach, music by artists that attracts and engages fans will receive weighting that better recognizes its value, and the fraud and gaming, which serves only to deprive artists their due compensation, will be aggressively addressed.”
He added: “Embracing the commonly shared objectives we highlighted at the outset of this chapter in our partnership, together we’ll maintain a flexible and adaptive approach. As the ever-evolving music landscape continues its rapid transformation, UMG and Deezer will rigorously address the impact of these changes as we incorporate new insights from data analysis, and fine-tune the model, as appropriate.”
Olivier Nusse, CEO of Universal Music France, said, “After extensive engagement with Deezer throughout 2023, we are very proud to be pioneers in France in the highly anticipated roll out of their version of the Artist Centric model. This comprehensive initiative will much more effectively value fan engagement and active streaming of music created by artists.”
UMG is also working with Tidal on new streaming models.