Major Labels

Universal Music, Deezer partner to test new streaming revenue models

During an investment call Thursday, Universal Music announced that it had partnered with EU-based streaming music service Deezer to develop a “new model” where “artists are rewarded for the fans they bring in and the engagement they drive.” 

It’s a theme that UMG CEO Lucien Grainge and other major label executives have emphasized for the last several months.

In addition to raising prices and new ways to calculate royalties, streaming platforms can do “a better job of monetizing these high integrity, high intensity artist-fan relationships,” said Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP and Chief Digital Officer. “That will come with superfan monetization. We’ve been speaking with platforms…about the enhancement of offers to the consumer that reflects the engagement with artists that are really driving the economic models of the platform.” 

In January, UMG announced a similar partnership with TIDAL to develop a new economic model for music streaming “that might better reward the value provided by artists.”

Earlier this week, TIDAL ended a much-watched test designed to spread streaming payments more equitably after it resulted in smaller payments to emerging artists. Tidal told Hypebot that the two announcements are separate, but it’s hard not to see how this week’s shift will not inform the streamer’s work with UMG.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

Share on: