Gary Numan says he earned only $50 from a million streams
With touring on hold due to COVID-19, artists are increasing relying on streaming revenue to make ends meet, a proposition that low payment rates per stream makes very difficult, if not impossible. Many have spoken out about the situation before, and now Gary Numan joins their number. He told Sky News that he was paid only £37 -- roughly $50 USD -- for a song of his that got over a million streams.
"The solution's simple," he told Sky News. "The streaming companies should pay more money. They're getting it for nothing."
"I had a statement a while back and one of my songs had had over a million plays, million streams, and it was £37," he continued. "I got £37 from a million streams."
About another example, Numan told Sky News, "I printed out, I think it was about a year ago, a statement - my streaming statement came in and I didn't look at it, I just put it to print, and I looked over about half an hour later, it was still printing. It was hundreds and hundreds of pages. And the end of it was, like, £112. It was barely worth the [paper] it was printed on, and it took nearly half an hour to print. You know, it's so much stuff, so much streaming, and there's absolutely nothing in it."
Numan's comments come as a Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport inquiry looks into streaming payments; Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, Elbow's Guy Garvey, and Nadine Shah all testified back in November, and on Tuesday (1/19), label heads from Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music, along with licensing body representatives, appeared for a third session. Music Ally has a very thorough breakdown of what was discussed.