MP’s are going to be examining the impact of streaming on artists, music labels and inevitably the current music industry, from companies such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play. The inquiry will be determined in November as to whether the pay policy is a fair one, or whether a more equitable system should be introduced.
It is reported in The Guardian Newspaper that Committee chair, MP Julian Knight said that it would inquire as to whether, “The economics of streaming could in future limit the range of artists and music that we’re all able to enjoy today.” He went on to describe the way that music is being promoted for the rising UK talent as a “blunt tool to operate in a creative industry with emerging talent risking failing the first hurdle.”
Streaming has changed the music industry – but do the economics of music streaming work for everyone?
We’re launching an inquiry into the economics of music streaming today and want to hear from you.
— Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (@CommonsDCMS) October 15, 2020
The investigation has been launched after the, ‘Keep Music Alive’ campaign was founded by the Musician’s union and Ivors Academy due to insufficient royalties given to creatives and performers in the music industry. The Daily Mail reported that Chief Executive of the Ivors Academy, Graham Davies stated,
“On behalf of all music creators we are delighted that Government will investigate the streaming market so it can work for all parts of the music industry. Most creators cannot make a living from streaming, it simply does not pay enough and millions of pounds each year is not properly allocated due to poor data. Following our campaigning with the Musicians’ Union, performers and creators to Fix Streaming this is an opportunity to create a transparent, fair and equitable approach.”
According to the Ivors Academy, noted by the Daily Mail, the UK brings accumulates over £1 billion a year in revenue and bringing in over 114 billion pounds in revenue for music streams in the last year. Companies such as Spotify pay as littles as £0.002 and 0.0038 per stream. Apple music pays £0.0059.
MP’s are requesting written documents from industry professionals from experts with the music sector, music labels, streaming platforms and artists themselves to address the business tools being used to promote the music and the long term affect these could have on the industry without changes being pursued.
Deezer, a French streaming company is currently the only leading streaming platform which uses a user centric payment system (UCPS) which ensures subscriber’s that revenues go direct to the artists. However, this is a growing platform, which is not currently a dominant feature in the way to download music.
Alexander Holland from Music Ally, a glowing streaming platform told The Guardian, “This can only happen in the context of agreement with our label partners. We cannot unilaterally introduce UCPS.”
The piracy of digital music has spiked since lockdown from the coronavirus in the spring and the government is keen to look at the consequential effect this could have long term for the industry. It will be looking at the EU copyright opposed to the UK equivalent to see if changes can be made to support the industry in these challenging times to protect the industries future.