- 20 Jan 21
The SNP MP said that the Universal Music chairman was living in 'cloud cuckoo land'.
Chairman and chief executive of Universal Music, David Joseph, is making headlines after claiming that artists are happy with the current music streaming model.
The criticism came as the heads of three of the world's leading record labels – Sony, Universal, and Warner Music Group – met with a Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee during an inquiry investigating the economics of music streaming.
Joseph told the inquiry that artists were “very happy with the investment, very happy with advances” they are currently receiving, which prompted an immediate request for clarification from the SNP MP John Nicolson.
"I think you're living in cloud cuckoo land here if you really believe that,” Nicholson said, according to The Guardian.
For months now (particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic), musicians of increasingly high profile have been raising their voices against the streaming model. Luka Bloom wrote an open letter for Hot Press to explain why his album will not be on streaming platforms, while the likes of Kate Nash, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, Jimmy Page, and Nadine Shah have warned MPs that unfair streaming payments were "threatening the future of music" at an initial hearing in November.
Musicians have told the Commons Culture Committee that they feel bullied by the big record labels and are too scared to speak out, fearing their revenge.
— JOHN NICOLSON M.P. (@MrJohnNicolson) January 19, 2021
Peter Leathem, the CEO of music copyright collective PPL, told the Committee that musicians at the start of their careers have “got the last 50 years of the music industry to compete with” on digital platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
“Ultimately, you’ve got some of the most talented people in our society [who] are struggling to make a living,” he said.