Roger Daltrey believes the music industry has been “stolen” from artists.
The 78-year-old Who frontman thinks musicians are being “robbed blind” by their record labels, who have much less to do in the digital age but still take the same percentages, and by streaming services, who issue low royalty payments.
He said: “Musicians cannot earn a living in the record industry any more. That is ridiculous, and they’re being robbed blind by streaming and the record companies, because the old deals with record companies that existed in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, they’re still working on the same percentage breaks.
“And of course, they don’t do any work. They just press a button and it goes out on digital, whereas before they had to manufacture, they had to distribute, they had to do all that stuff. They’re doing bugger all and taking all the money, and the musicians are getting nothing.
“Our music industry, I think, has been stolen.
“I think we really do have to be concerned when young musicians can’t earn a living writing music. The streaming companies pay so little in the beginning and then the record companies take 85, 90 per cent of that. You need a billion streams to earn 200 quid. That’s the reality.
“We’ve given our music industry to a lot of foreign-owned companies, and the money’s not coming here any more. We used to lead the world in that, pay an awful lot of tax. It’s terrible.”
In 2012, the ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ hitmakers sold the publishing rights to their catalogue for a rumoured $100 million because they don’t want to cause legal issues when they die.
Roger told the Independent Newspaper: “Who wants to leave a family with those kind of headaches?
“B***** that, sell it all! … We’ve had the money and spent it.”
Despite his advancing years, the veteran rocker has no desire to retire.
He said: “I’ve always said about this business, ‘You don’t give it up, it gives you up.’ I’m going to do it as long as I can, but then one day it will give me up and I won’t be able to do it. Simple as that; I make no apologies.”