UMG and Deezer have partnered to explore what the 3/15 joint announcement describes as “potential new economic models for music streaming that more fully recognize the value artists create.”

Deezer was one of the first platforms to commit to exploring alternative payment models to help assure artists are compensated fairly. This initiative underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to advancing these efforts.

It also furthers Sir Lucian Grainge’s reiterated need for the reform of the streaming remuneration model, voiced during UMG's Q4 earnings call on 3/2, in which he cited the partnership with Deezer.

The initiative will seek to better align the interests of artists, fans and streaming services and explore ways in which artists at every point in their careers and from every genre and geography can more fully benefit commercially from streaming. With a foundation in deep data analysis, the partnership will look at the benefits and evaluate the viability of different economic models aimed at driving subscriber growth, forging stronger bonds with music fans on the platform and developing commercial opportunities that benefit artists and the broader music community.

Through this pact with UMG, Deezer will gain insights that will inform experiential features and monetization options.

“As a key player in the music industry, we work with all labels to find ways to make the ecosystem fairer and help artists monetize their music better,” said Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira. “The current system has clear issues that need to be addressed, such as increasing amounts of non-music tracks uploaded on platforms, poor-quality covers with misspelled artists’ names and songs to ‘steal’ streams, and people trying to trick the system with the length of tracks. This hurts true artists, makes it harder for new ones to emerge and also damages the fan experience.

“We believe in quality and fairness at Deezer and with this initiative, together with UMG, we will look into how we can improve the model to everyone’s benefit. Music is extremely undervalued today, and as part of the artist-centric discussion, we are keen to find additional ways of increasing monetization to the benefit of real artists, the labels and platforms like Deezer.”

“Deezer has long advocated for a re-evaluation of subscription’s economic model,” UMG EVP/Chief Digital Officer Michael Nash noted. “We’re thrilled Jeronimo and his team are partnering with us to explore how we can evolve streaming for the benefit of the entire ecosystem of artists, labels, platforms and fans. Such collaboration is critical to the success of the artist-centric initiative. While there won’t be one uniform quick fix—subscriber acquisition and retention dynamics and metrics vary by platform—our partnership with Deezer will help accelerate this entire enterprise.”