Deezer’s Innovative Approach to Fair Royalty Payments for Artists

Streaming service Deezer has recently partnered with Universal Music to establish a groundbreaking royalty agreement that prioritizes musicians over AI-generated content. In an effort to address the long-standing concern that streaming platforms do not adequately compensate artists for their work, this new deal aims to create a fairer and more rewarding experience for musicians and fans alike.

Under this novel model, Deezer will pay artists more when their music is actively sought out by fans rather than simply being played automatically in playlists. The objective is to incentivize a deeper connection between fans and artists and promote a more favorable environment for creators. Professional musicians, defined as those with a minimum of 1,000 monthly streams from over 500 individual listeners, will enjoy an estimated 10% increase in their royalty payouts.

Consequently, the platform will reduce streaming income for amateur musicians and eliminate non-artist noise audio, including AI-generated “artists” and white noise soundtracks intended for background music. Deezer aims to reposition itself as a platform that values and supports genuine musical talent while diminishing the prominence of artificial content.

One notable feature of this new model is the introduction of a weighted system for streams. If a fan actively searches for a musician on Deezer and listens to their song, that single listen will be counted as four streams. This acknowledges the significance of intentional engagement and helps ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their music.

Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira describes this revolutionary change as the most ambitious shift to the economic model since the inception of music streaming. He emphasizes their commitment to championing fairness in the industry and supporting the creation of high-quality content. Folgueira also emphasizes the need to reflect the value of every piece of content accurately and eliminate misguided incentives that undermine the long-term sustainability of the music industry.

Deezer’s new royalty model will first launch in France in October, with plans to expand to other countries from 2024. This move comes at a crucial time when many artists have voiced concerns about the current streaming system’s inadequacy in compensating their artistic contributions adequately.

Overall, Deezer’s innovative approach to prioritizing musicians over automated content represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of a fairer and more sustainable music industry.


Q: What is the main objective of Deezer’s partnership with Universal Music?

A: The main objective is to devise a royalty model that better rewards artists and improves the overall fan experience.

Q: What kind of artists will benefit from this new deal?

A: Professional musicians, defined as those with a minimum of 1,000 monthly streams from more than 500 individual listeners, will receive a 10% increase in their royalty payments.

Q: How will Deezer differentiate between actively sought out music and automatic playlist plays?

A: Streams from listeners who actively search for a specific artist on Deezer and listen to their music will carry more weight and count as four streams.

Q: Will this deal impact amateur musicians and AI-generated content?

A: Yes, streaming income will be reduced for amateur musicians, and non-artist noise audio, such as AI “artists” and white noise soundtracks, will be eliminated from the platform.

Q: When will Deezer’s new model be implemented?

A: The new model will first launch in France in October and is expected to expand to other countries starting in 2024.