Beggars and FAC finalise streaming economics think tank

–     Beggars’ director of digital Simon Wheeler and FAC board member Paul Pacifico to speak at MusicTank event

–     Join Billy Bragg, Spotify’s Mark Williamson, and Roger La Haye of The Royalty Consultancy

–     CMU’s Chris Cooke to provide summary of the issues


13th March 2014, London:-  The panel for MusicTank’s upcoming think tank ‘The Artist Economics Of Streaming’ has been finalised, as Simon Wheeler, director of digital at Beggars Group, and Paul Pacifico, FAC board member and manager of the AllStars Collective, join the speaker list.

Wheeler has been vocal about Beggars’ forward thinking, nuanced attitude to streaming services, whilst Beggars Group, which includes 4AD, Rough Trade, Matador and XL Recordings, has generally been a powerful advocate for the fair treatment of artists by labels.

Pacifico is a harmonica player who has worked with world famous performers like Ronnie Wood, Stevie Wonder and Jools Holland. With a background at a “well paid job in the City of London”, he set up and manages the AllStars Collective – a group of the world’s most renowned session musicians, who have performed and recorded with the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Prince, as well as alongside Sir Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace.

The pair will speak alongside singer-songwriter and activist Billy Bragg, Spotify’s director of artist services Mark Williamson, and Roger La Haye, co-founder of The Royalty Consultancy.

In addition, Chris Cooke, Business Editor of Complete Music Update (CMU), will be offering a summary introduction to panel.

The think tank comes at an interesting time for the intertwining of the recorded music and digital technology sectors, with Samsung and Apple launching services, YouTube and Amazon lining up offerings, competitors Beats and Spotify both strategically acquiring technologies and Spotify flotation rumours gathering momentum. Music is the fuel for all this, yet uncertainty reigns as to whether artists are being remunerated fairly, or are being exploited to the detriment of the future recordings business.

Artists, Managers and Performers (AMP), the newly formed alliance between the MU, the MMF and FAC, recently made a submission to the EU’s copyright consultation, that calls for streaming royalties to be split equally between the artist and the label, arguing that a stream is not a sale in the traditional sense and does not involve any of the associated costs for the label.

In trying to do away with some of the confusion and controversy around how money reaches the artist in this new model, the event promises open discussion about how royalties are calculated, and whether the economics of the streaming model as it currently stands can work for all parts of the value chain.

Said MusicTank Chairman Keith Harris: It’s time to shine a light into the dark corners of the ongoing furore about streaming. While recent events suggest that there are clearly ongoing issues that need to be dealt with, there’s a danger that discussions about streaming will be reduced to polarised shouting matches, unless we as an industry collectively make an effort to clarify what is really going on. As ever, MusicTank aims to do this with honest and open debate and an investigation into the positions of all parties involved.”


Event Details

Date:                     7th April 2014

Time:                    6.30pm to 9.00pm

Venue:                 Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, W1B 2UW

Prices:                  MusicTank members: £25.00 | Standard: £40.00 | Students: £15.00


About MusicTank

Established in 2003 MusicTank is a unique, neutral information hub for UK music business addressing change and innovation through informed debate, objective analysis and industry engagement. Owned and operated by University of Westminster, its content-rich website – – contains a wealth of industry information and resources, together with event transcripts and podcasts, news, reports and research papers. Visitors to the site can sign up to a free monthly e-mail newsletter, and for a small annual subscription become members, giving access to premium content.

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