Written evidence submitted by Dr Matthew Herbert




nov 2020

evidence on streaming


i’m a professional musician and composer who has thousands of registered works with the performing rights society. i have released more than 40 albums as well as film and tv scores and works for the theatre. i have been music director of the winter olympics and have a phd.


i am extremely lucky to have an established career with a wide variety of income sources, lucky in part because there is simply almost no money generated from streaming. my income from radio, tv and live performances is several thousands of pounds annually, yet streaming income is barely a few hundred at best annually. it is simply impossible to get streaming income anywhere near what we used to receive when records or tracks were sold. it is a vast gulf and it is getting worse not better.


i was not surprised, but it is still upsetting to read articles like this which show that 1% of artists get 90% of the income:



the system is badly broken. we get pennies for thousands of streams, yet the owners of the platforms earn billions from selling their shares or going public. they are generating value off our work and not sharing the rewards fairly. it’s a broken business model that is making it harder and harder to justify the expense in making and creating new work.