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INDIES ASK FOR SLICE OF SPOTIFY STOCK PIE (UPDATE)

Following commitments pledged by the three major labels to sharing the spoils of Spotify stock with their artists, independent labels under global trade body WIN have also called for a slice of the pie. In a statement issued today, the org asks Universal, Sony and Warner to give the indie labels they distribute, and therefore the artists they represent, a corresponding share of any payout received.

Universal was the final major to issue a public statement, promising on Monday to share the cash it generates from the sale of its Spotify shares when the streaming service floats on the New York Stock Exchange. Part of the independent community is already taken care of: Labels that negotiated equity stakes in Spotify via trade body Merlin also stand to benefit from the sale of stock.

On Wednesday, a Sony spokesperson told Music Business Worldwide, “Sony Music will be sharing with its distributed labels.”  Sony Music has a 5.7% stake in Spotify.

Universal told MBW: “Consistent with UMG’s approach to artist compensation, artists would share in the proceeds of an equity sale.”

In July 2014, WIN launched The Fair Digital Deals Declaration as a voluntary commitment made by independent record label signatories around the world to treat their artists fairly when it comes to the digital exploitation of work in recorded music agreements with third parties. In response to concerns raised by the independent artist community about their share of Spotify revenues following the forthcoming listing, WIN has re-affirmed the commitments made under Declaration and will be encouraging new member label signatories and a re-commitment from current signatories.

Alison Wenham, CEO of WIN (pictured above), said: “The Fair Digital Deals Declaration is a voluntary initiative launched in 2014 and is a clear statement of those labels’ commitment to their artists. With the forthcoming Spotify listing, which will value the company at an estimated $19bn, they have the perfect opportunity to reiterate their position and more labels are expected to sign up over the coming weeks. We are fully focused on ensuring a sustainable economic relationship between the independent recorded music industry and the artists it represents.”

Martin MillsBeggars Group founder and newly named Chair of WIN (pictured in preview), added: “It is entirely appropriate that independents, who have given birth to every significant new musical movement over the last 70 years, should have taken the lead in committing to fair and reasonable treatment of all artists and application of contract terms as the digital era continues to move into uncharted waters.”

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