Here we are once again asking for basic rights in the music industry. It is unbelievable to think that such a great and important role in our everyday lives is overlooked and not discussed enough. The not-so-shocking news today is that songwriters don’t get paid enough. And no, I’m not talking about the people you see on stage. It’s the artists who work in the back that get completely forgotten by everyone. A simple exercise is to read the credits of your favorite songs. Take for example superstar Lewis Capaldi. His name went around the world after the huge success of his first album. But who wrote the songs? Five, six, seven people no one knows about. Up until here, it’s pretty normal. But did you ever ask yourself how much are they getting paid? “Someone You Loved” has almost 2 billion streams on Spotify. How much money did the people who wrote it get? I’m not blaming Lewis Capaldi here, or streaming platforms as you might imagine he probably saw less money than you’d think. I’m blaming this twisted industry for the ridiculous job they’re doing in protecting its key workers. Paul Simon and Bob Dylan recently sold their publishing catalog for billions of dollars but it seems as though great songwriters are hard to find these days, and not because fewer people write amazing songs, but because the illusion of the genius performer is worth more than actually platforming songwriters. Not to mention the behavior held by record labels, especially majors, towards songwriting sessions. Post Malone reportedly would give away a percentage of songwriting credits to anyone present in the room; while most would see this as an honorable action, it really is a devaluation of the craft of songwriting. If something is given away for free why would anyone bother paying it fairly?

The Ivors Academy is fighting back with an open letter that you can sign here. Their requests are simple, yet they could change someone’s life:

  • Pay songwriters a minimum allowance of £75/$120 per day to cover basic expenses;

  • Give writers at least four points on the master from the label share.

What I feel is important to mention here is that, in the past, songwriters were happy to work with artists as record sales, radio plays, and sync used to be a good investment. Nowadays, streams alone don’t get you enough money. A song with 1,000 generates £1 of revenues. Why would a songwriter sell their art and worth for such little compensation? We’re facing the extinction of this job and the decline of the industry.

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