Bono On Spotify, Songwriter Royalties, Universal Music and More In U2 Year End Post
Recovering from a serious bicylce accident has given U2 frontman more time to write, and he shared his look-back at 2014 in a lengthy post to fans. Few of the things Bono cares about – goos and bad – were spared including some generally hopeful word on the state of the music industry.
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"We all now understand the Internet is giving us access to information that is mostly flattening an uneven playing field. This is all good except when some technologists think that creative content is only valuable in its ability to show off their wares – hard or soft.
Some say musicians should be pleased with new ways to promote live concerts but I remind people that Cole Porter didn't play live shows. Songwriters are getting a poor deal right now. The reason I respect for-fee services like Spotify is that they are slowly turning people who are used to getting their music for-FREE, into paying ten dollars a month for a subscription model.
These payments don't add up to replacement for income from physical or digital sales at the moment – but I think they can if everyone sits down – record companies, artists and digital services – to figure out a fairer way of doing business.
I'm proud of Universal group, not least because Lucian Grainge took at big risk with our Apple release, but David Joseph, CEO of the UK, encouraged by his boss, is beta-testing a fresh approach to transparency … a Universal artist will be able to find out weekly, maybe even daily, on their cell phones, how many plays they've had and where in the world they've had them; also they can be direct-credited the payment. U2 can survive without these changes but we can't live with ourselves if other artists cannot.