Chic frontman Nile Rodgers to give evidence in streaming inquiry

Nile Rodgers performing at his Brit Awards viewing party fundraiser to benefit the Brit School and We Are Family Foundation a
Nile Rodgers performing at his Brit Awards viewing party fundraiser to benefit the Brit School and We Are Family Foundation at The Ned, London.

Chic frontman Nile Rodgers will appear in front of MPs as part of an inquiry into the impact of streaming giants such as Spotify and Apple Music.

The 68-year-old American musician behind disco hits including Le Freak and Everybody Dance is the latest high-profile figure to give evidence about their perspectives as performers.

He will be joined by Suffolk singer-songwriter Fiona Bevan and London-born jazz saxophonist Soweto Kinch.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee is looking into how the streaming model has affected artists and record labels, following increased scrutiny prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The second session in the inquiry will focus on copyright and will also hear from a music publisher and a music manager.

MPs will consider a model operated by the Spanish government to implement a form of “equitable remuneration” for streaming that protects artists’ income.

Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey and singer-songwriter Nadine Shah appeared during the first session.

Panasonic Mercury Music Prize
Soweto Kinch (Yui Mok/PA)

Shah spoke of how her earnings from streams alone were not enough to keep “the wolf away from the door”.

The inquiry comes after the Musicians’ Union and Ivors Academy launched the Keep Music Alive campaign, calling streaming royalties “woefully insufficient” and urging the Government to undertake a review.

There has been increased scrutiny of the business models of platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play after artist revenue from live performance was hit by Covid-19.

The evidence session will take place on December 8 at 10am.

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