Deezer is planning to test a User Centric Payment System (UCPS) in France in early 2020, as part of a pledge to pay artists fairly. The current model used by streaming services works on a share-based system, where all the money goes into a pot and then divided, which tends to favour the artists with very high streams, whereas the UCPS model correlates royalty payments to the music effectively listened to by subscribers.
"With UCPS, the money you pay only goes to the artists you love and listen to," the music streaming service posted on its web site. The streamer said that while 18-25 year olds represent 19% of all Deezer subscribers, they generate 24% of total royalties. "UCPS helps us get rid of this imbalance," said Deezer.
Deezer executives said that if the experiment is successful in France, it would be rolled out around the world. So far, Deezer claims to have the support of a wide range of French indie labels such as Wagram, Because and Believe. The three major companies are not yet part of the plan, but Deezer executives says the goal is to have all the main labels on board.
"I think we're doing a good job of convincing even the majors that this makes sense," said Deezer France CEO Alexis De Gemini, speaking to Music Week at a media gathering in Paris.
A fairer system
"This is fairer than before, we have no other super intention than that,"said Deezer chief content and strategy officer Alexander Holland. "I think it's a better way and I think everybody should adopt it. But I do not reserve for myself to to tell other streaming companies what they should and should not do."
Added Holland: "If you use Deezer very actively, and you know that all the money that you spend on this goes to the artists that you love I think it gives you a much better feeling."
De Gemini said re-balancing the flow of revenues between mainstream and less popular genres is a major reason to push for a UCPS model. "We have started to take that mission to try and change the way the money is reallocated. It doesn't have any impact on Deezer turnover in France, nor globally. But we believe it has an impact in the way we impact creativity, hence, the music we will bring to our users in the future."