Spotify publishes royalty per click rate. And VOD platforms?

You may have followed the recent debate about Spotify payout rates (if not see here, here and here) following Thom Yorke’s initial criticism of the rates.

After weeks of defending themselves and underlining how much it has paid out to rightholders, at the beginning of December Spotify updated their service and opened themselves up to some transparency (see articles here and here) on both statistics and royalties.  This notably included putting an approximate value on the per stream royalty rate – somewhere between 0.006$ and 0.0084$.

Now, the music and movie businesses are completely different, but I don’t hear any screenwriters or directors arguing over their per stream or per download rate on VOD platforms.

So, how much do European screenwriters and directors actually get per rental or download of a film on VOD platforms?

A European screenwriter or director may (just maybe) be able to secure a small amount of remuneration per stream/download/rental in their home territory.  This is due to a multitude of reasons, they might be a co-producer, they may have a solid, transparent relationship with the national producer or distributor, the sales chain is short and transparent.

If you open the question up to EU markets outside the director or screenwriters’ home territory then the answer is probably 0€.  This might be because they signed a poor contract initially.  It also might be because the producer is unable to properly monitor the exploitation of the work abroad (indeed the original national producer might not see any money either). 

Don’t consumers want to know that when they buy or rent a film, that part of the money is going to the original creators?  The people whose ideas entertain and inspire them?

I get the feeling that people assume that this must happen already, that screenwriters and directors must be getting some money per sale. 

But that just isn’t the case and that needs to change. 

The European Commission just launched a consultation on copyright – maybe they can look at this.

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