Entertainment

Sandie Shaw blasts Spotify for handing out millions to Sussexes and only small amounts to musicians

How can Spotify give Meghan and Harry millions when it pays singers £200? Sandie Shaw blasts streaming service for handing out a fortune to former royals for podcast while paying only small amount in royalties to musicians

Sixties star Sandie Shaw led an attack by British musicians on Spotify last night over its lucrative podcast deal with Harry and Meghan

Research shows most artists receive just £200 a year from services that stream their songs.

But Professor Jonathan Shalit, chairman of talent agency InterTalent, has estimated the Sussexes’ deal with the digital music giant as being worth £18million over several years

Eurovision winner Miss Shaw, 73, famed for singing barefoot, told the Daily Mail: ‘Lucky Meghan and Harry were able to negotiate a podcast deal for themselves with Spotify.

As Spotify signed an £18million podcast deal with the Sussexes, MPs have heard young artists on the streaming service ‘would be lucky to make enough to pay their food bill’

‘I wish recording artists were in the same independent position to negotiate streaming deals directly for themselves too.’

A survey found Spotify pays eight in ten artists whose music it streams an average of around £17 a month.

Singer Tom Gray, of Mercury prize winners Gomez, said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were probably unaware of ethical questions surrounding their Spotify deal, which will see them ‘build community through shared experience, narratives and values’, starting this month with a ‘holiday special’ podcast.

Mr Gray, who last week gave evidence to MPs investigating the streaming industry, said: ‘Young artists on Spotify would be lucky to make enough from streaming to pay their food bill, if that.

‘This is probably something Meghan and Harry haven’t thought about, but it does call into question the ethics of the streaming platforms if they keep behaving like this, where they suddenly find tens of millions.

‘[Spotify’s] argument is, “We take all of this money and give 70 per cent of it out to the rights holders”, so where is all this extra money coming from to buy out Meghan and Harry? 

Sixties singer and Eurovision winner Sandie Shaw has criticised Spotify over the deal, saying: '‘I wish recording artists were in the same independent position to negotiate streaming deals directly for themselves too'

Sixties singer and Eurovision winner Sandie Shaw has criticised Spotify over the deal, saying: ‘‘I wish recording artists were in the same independent position to negotiate streaming deals directly for themselves too’

‘If you are working in music at any level now you just feel let down by the system.’

British jazz and hip-hop artist Soweto Kinch said: ‘It’s a travesty that in a year when most musicians and creators are seeing our livelihoods implode, Spotify have cut such a tone-deaf deal. 

‘I love the Sussexes, but this just underlines how lazy and opaque the world of streaming is.’

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