Paul McCartney is not a poor man, by any stretch of the imagination. He is worth around £800million and that isn’t undeserved. Sting is worth nearly £300million. Stevie Nicks, some £60million.
They’re not exactly poor. Yet here they are signing a letter saying that the streaming system needs to be reformed so that artists can be paid properly.
Allow me to elaborate. I happen to agree entirely with the premise of the letter. I believe that streaming services do not pay fair compensation for the music they allow people to listen to, and I believe record labels are still wedded to the old model from the analogue days.
That said, I’m somewhat uneasy with the likes of McCartney being on this list. Their names are inevitably going to lead in all the coverage that the letter gets. It’s not much of a stretch to work out that, to the average Joe, this will look like rich celebrities who want to get even more rich.
This is unfortunate, to say the least. Whilst McCartney made his money a long time ago, the cases of musicians who can’t even make enough money to pay their bills aren’t being heard in the press.
But without the big names signing the letter in the first place, the press probably wouldn’t take any notice. Dilemmas indeed!