Gary Numan: I was paid £37 for one million song streams

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2-min read
Gary Numan poses for photographers after receiving the Q award for best innovation of sound in London, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Gary Numan has revealed the details of his music streaming royalties. (AP)

Gary Numan has revealed a million streams of one of his songs earned him just £37.

The Cars singer-songwriter made the revelation while discussing the government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee inquiry into the economics of music streaming, which continues this week.

Synth pioneer Numan, 62, told Sky News: “I had a statement a while back and one of my songs had had over a million plays, million streams, and it was £37. I got £37 from a million streams."

Read more: Spotify names top musician of the decade as streaming compensation fight looms

He went on: "I printed out, I think it was about a year ago, a statement – my streaming statement came in and I didn't look at it, I just put it to print, and I looked over about half an hour later, it was still printing.

Gary Numan performing live at London's Roundhouse 24 October 2019 UK (Photo By Robin Pope / NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Photo by Robin Pope/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Gary Numan rose to fame in 1979 with hit 'Cars'. (Getty Images)

"It was hundreds and hundreds of pages. And the end of it was, like, £112. It was barely worth the [paper] it was printed on, and it took nearly half an hour to print. You know, it's so much stuff, so much streaming, and there's absolutely nothing in it."

Numan said music streaming platforms – such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play – need to pay more for the songs they use, adding: “They're getting it for nothing.”

His comments come three of the UK’s biggest record labels - Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music - appeared before MPs for the latest session of the hearing, along with representatives from licensing bodies.

Read more: Gary Numan talks life after ‘Cars’

The inquiry has already heard from Elbow frontman Guy Garvey, Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien, Nile Rodgers and singer-songwriter Nadine Shah.

Nile Rodgers performing at his Brit Awards viewing party fundraiser to benefit the Brit School and We Are Family Foundation at The Ned, London. (Photo by Lauren Hurley/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nile Rodgers is among the musicians to have given evidence to the government inquiry into music streaming. (Getty Images)

Music streaming services are facing increased scrutiny as they replace purchases of physical copies of recordings - as industry figures claims it cannot survive on the low earnings.

The problem has been enhanced due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions impacting on live music – which has become the financial backbone of the industry.

Watch: Gary Numan rfelects on drive-in gigs axe