Speaking at the annual Coop Congress today – the U.K. amalgamation of all cooperatives – l spoke at the end of an expert panel on “Time for fair play in the music industry” to commit to taking forward the ideas and working up a Cooperative Music Bill to provide a road map towards a fairer more inclusive music industry across the UK .

Music is central to our national identity and artists songwriters and performers deserve their fair share. However, songwriters and performers only receive a small fraction of streaming income. A songwriter from Swansea might get as little as – as £100 for a million streams – whilst the MD for universal earns £153 million a year – more than the combined income from sales and streaming of all UK songwriters and artists.

Money is syphoned out of the country without tax being paid towards public services or with a fair return to artists. Eight out of ten artists earn less than £200 a year from their music.

Young artists who are enthusiastic and vulnerable sign up to contracts that rip them off for the rest of their lives including non-disclosure agreement. The industry is highly white male dominated and increasingly the preserve of people with well off parents.

On top of this the pandemic has hit artists and musicians hard as there was little help for the self employed and now the cost of living crisis is undermining income from live performances whilst Brexit reduces opportunities to do gigs in Europe.

Locally organisations like Cultural Freelancers Wales are working to establish self-helping creative communities but we need regulation to empower those who provide so much for us all.

That’s why I’ve undertaken to work with experts from the independent sector to draft legislation to ensure a duty of care for artists, for contract transparency and a fair share of proceeds.

In addition, taking a more regional support to encouraging and supporting local artists and song writers should be developed alongside local government.

I’ll be taking forward the ideas today with a Roundtable of experts to provide a detailed road map forwards. My cooperative music bill will aims to provide a new ecosystem which is more cooperative and less Darwinist than the current system.

It will aim to provide fertile ground for a greater number and diversity of musicians to succeed so the whole industry will benefit and Britain will become the best, fairest and most successful place to grow music for the future.

There will be resistance from vested interests, but with the support of cooperatives across the U.K. and fans wanting a fair deal for local artists, if the U.K. Govt doesn’t block it to support the multinationals, then we can deliver a regulatory framework that works for all”

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