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Deezer Deletes 26M Tracks From Its Catalog, Rolls Out New Revenue Model in France

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Deezer Deletes 26M Tracks From Its Catalog, Rolls Out New Revenue Model in France iMusician

At the end of last year, Deezer announced the implementation of its new “Artist Centric” revenue model. The system is currently being rolled out in France. Following its updates, the company decided to delete 26 million songs from its catalog.

Deezer’s “Artist Centric” revenue model: all relevant updates

Not too long ago, we reported on Deezer’s new “Artist Centric” model. Together with Universal Music Group, the streaming platform decided to update its revenue system “to better reward artists while also enhancing fan experience.” It was first implemented at the end of last year and is currently being rolled out in France.

In an official press release, the companies announced they aim to “develop an economic model that better reflects the true value of artist-fan relationships.” The new system primarily benefits professional artists with a minimum of 1,000 monthly streams by a minimum of 500 unique listeners who now receive a “double boost” to their royalties. In other words, the streams of artists who fall into this category will be counted twice. Additionally, if a song has been actively searched by a fan rather than played to them through the help of algorithms, the boost doubles again.

To pay its professional artists, Deezer has begun demonetizing all noise content that it describes as “uploads with no meaningful engagement.” As such content has become quite popular online, the platform’s goal is to ensure music does not drown “in a sea of noise.” The update also contains a user-centric element with a monthly monetization cap of 1000 streams per individual user. In October 2023, Music Business Worldwide explained that if a user plays 2000 streams in a month, each one of them will be counted at 50%. Thus, all streams are still monetized but at a lower rate. This way, Deezer can distribute money more fairly between artists without favoring some musicians over others. The system was also implemented to combat streaming fraud, which happens when fraudsters launch several accounts to stream the same song repeatedly.

Deezer deletes 26 million songs

Following its updates, Deezer recently announced it deleted 26 million (!) songs from its catalog. According to MBW, the decision impacted roughly 13% of all the music on the platform. Among the deleted titles are noise tracks, mono-track albums, and tracks streamed zero times in the last 12 months. It also removed the songs of “fake artists.” Although it is unclear what exactly that means, the deletions seem to concern people who make music with AI.

While the recent decisions by Deezer are not necessarily negative developments, the deletion of unstreamed songs raises concerns, particularly for new artists. The issue lies in the message sent out by the company: tracks that do numbers are valuable, tracks that don’t are clutter. This can be disheartening for new artists who are already struggling to attract listeners. It's important to remember that these songs do not just magically appear on streaming platforms, as musicians have to invest money to upload them via music distributors. Considering that songs with 0 streams do not cost streaming services more than some space on their servers, it's worth questioning whether deleting them is truly necessary.

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