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World News

'Its time to make it fairer' Christian singer Martin Smith agrees that music streaming needs to change

by Kelly Valencia

The former member of the Christian band Delirious? Martin Smith has told Premier it is the right time for the music industry to consider changing the current streaming system.  
"No one really knows who's quite in charge or where it's all going and who's defined the rates, who's really done it, what deals have been done in the shadows to determine the rights that writers get...So, there's obviously a lot of talk about," Martin Smith told Premier.
His remarks come as a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee revealed streaming is producing "pitiful returns" for the artists.
It says royalties should be split 50/50 between record labels and artists. Currently, record companies receive almost 41 per cent of the total stream income, while artists gain 16 per cent and streaming platforms 29 per cent.
The report concluded that "only a complete reset of streaming that enshrines in law their rights to a fair share of the earnings" would make it fairer.
Having been a front man and now a solo artist, Smith explained: "Ten years ago, the major record labels did a deal in the shadows with Spotify and the record labels took that lump of money, but the writers did not really receive any. So, I think it's a really great time to look at this again...so the people within the industry can grow, flourish, create music."
When asked how Christians can support artists in the music industry, Smith said simply, "love their music".
"Come and see them play live, listen to the music, love it and get it in your heart. That's the reason we're alive - we want to write songs ultimately that touch people, lift people up, save people from despair. Music can do that and so, at the end of the day, whether I'm paid or not, I'm going to carry on doing it because that's what I was born to do. It'll just be great if it was fair."
According to PraiseCharts, the artists Hillsong Worship, Elevation Worship and We the Kingdom are some of the most streamed Christian artists in the UK.

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