The songwriter who co-wrote Meghan Trainor’s inescapable ‘All About That Bass’ claims he’s been ripped off by streaming.
Kevin Kadish says he made just $5,679 (£3,700) from 178 million streams of the song. “I’ve never heard a songwriter complain about radio royalties as much as streaming royalties,” he said. “That was the real issue for us, like one million streams equals $90 (£59).”
‘All About That Bass’ is one of the biggest-selling digital singles of all time, and was a particular hit on streaming services – Trainor became the first act to enter the UK Top 40 based solely on streams.
Speaking at a university in Tennessee, he said: “That’s as big a song as a songwriter can have in their career and number one in 78 countries. But you’re making $5,600. How do you feed your family?”
As Kadish is referring to streaming generally rather than a specific service, it’s not clear how his lowly payment breaks down. However, as Musically points out, ‘All About That Bass’ has been played more than 290 million times on Spotify alone. At the average per-stream payout of $0.0072, the track should be earning $2.1m split between label and publishers.
British pop star La Roux has also spoken out against streaming in the last day, saying she has been paid just £100 for the last quarter from Spotify. “One more month and I might be able to afford your premium service,” she tweeted.
But even if her 811,000 monthly listeners on Spotify only listened to one track each a month, they should be rewarding her with a $17.5k quarterly payout.
As Billy Bragg argued back in 2013, paltry payments are often the fault of labels rather than the streaming services, and railing against Spotify is “as helpful to [the artists’] cause as campaigning against the Sony Walkman would have been in the early 80s”. [via BBC]