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3/23/21

Songwriters and artists in the U.K. and U.S. have backed a new campaign from The Ivors Academy, #PaySongwriters, that is asking labels to pay writers a minimum daily allowance and offer at least four points on master recordings from the label's share.

Three hundred writers, along with SONA and artist org The 100 Percenters, have signed an open letter to all record labels asking for a minimum daily allowance of £75 ($120) to each songwriter working with an artist to cover expenses in addition to points. The letter says the per diem would be non-recoupable from the artist share and points should be on net revenue and shared among non-performing songwriters on a record.

Supporters include MNEKAmy Wadge (pictured), Ross GolanFred GibsonMikkel Eriksen of StargatePaloma FaithSavan KotechaJess Glynne, Jimmy Hogarth, Jin JinIna WroldsenTre Jean-Marie, and Iain James

The letter argues that songwriters invest in artists and emerging talent by spending time in the studio providing direction, inspiration and development at their own risk and often for no return. Unlike a label, a songwriter does not have the same means to absorb these costs, they contend, and coupled with the inadequate revenues songwriters receive through streaming, the risks and rewards writers face needs to be re-balanced.

According to the Ivors, providing writers with a daily allowance and additional points on the master are immediate steps that labels can take to support, and invest in, creativity. It arrives as the U.K. Government inquiry into the economics of streaming comes to an end, with recommendations for reform expected soon. 

 “We know we have to fix streaming so it’s fair, transparent and sustains the careers of the people that create the music we love,” Helienne Lindvall, Chair of The Ivors Academy’s Songwriter Committee, said. “Structural reform is needed now more than ever, but in the meantime there are a few quick and easy measures which could help songwriters get by until such time as reform is achieved. While labels enjoy record revenues from streaming, songwriters are struggling to pay the rent. The #PaySongwriters campaign provides simple ways for the labels to support songwriters when it’s needed most.”