Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) has been very outspoken about the ridiculously low payouts that artists receive from streaming services and he recently discussed the topic again during an interview with The Irish Times. The frontman says he doesn’t necessarily have a problem with streaming itself, but he does take issue with the fact that these services “rip off the artist.”
Taylor said the following when asked if bands like Slipknot could survive on streaming alone:
“You could if the streaming system wasn’t set up the way it is. You are being paid less than pennies. In the United States they have passed the legislation [the Music Modernisation Act 2018] but it is being appealed. I am hoping that it will be struck down. If the streaming systems paid more online with how publishing in radio pays – people could make a living.
I have had friends of mine who have had to retire and they are popular bands because they can’t make a living. Mid-card bands and lower, it is hard for them. It almost pays better to play the local pub and do the door deal. You make more money doing that than making an album. Labels don’t take the same chances but they are taking the lion’s share of the money because of the way it is set up.
Until the artist is paid fairly, it is going to be a constant fucking battle. I saw this coming years ago. I haven’t got a problem with streaming. I have got a problem with how these streaming services rip off the artist and I’ll say that until the day I die.”
He also added the following when asked about the going rate for a million streams:
“The lowest rate is YouTube. A million streams on YouTube is 0.04 per cent of a penny. On a million streams you get $400 and that’s just me doing shitty math in my head. People can’t live on that and there’s not a lot of people who get these numbers. The majority of this goes to the record label anyway.
The streaming services are not willing to pay the talents who write the songs and makes the music and yet they are sitting on billions of dollars. They are buying whole blocks of buildings and then taking over floors in there and yet they don’t want to pay the people who made the money for them. It’s insane. It’s tough all over in a lot of ways. Something has to change. I don’t know what that will be.”