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Competition and Markets Authority Launches Market Study Into Music Streaming

The Musicians’ Union, The Ivors Academy, and Broken Record founder Tom Gray welcome the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision to launch a market study into music streaming.

Published: 19 October 2021 | 4:42 PM
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The CMA referral is great news – but more must be done to support UK’s fantastic artists, musicians, and songwriters.

The decision follows the Government’s referral of the dominance of the major music groups to the CMA. The referral was one of the key asks of the #FixStreaming campaign, and will help to address the extraordinary power wielded by multinational corporations over the marketplace.

In their letter to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) and the Select Committee, the CMA said: “In the light of the concerns you have collectively expressed, this work should be prioritised: that is, it should be the next market study that the CMA launches.”

The announcement was covered by the Guardian, Sky News, TechCrunch, NME, and BBC News.

A step closer to fixing streaming

Reflecting on the news, MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge said: “We are delighted that the CMA is following through with proposals to carry out a market study into music streaming. This shows a fundamental willingness and interest from Government and regulators to tackle the pervasive issues around the major labels' current market domination.

Now is the time for the Government to further commit to supporting reforms for equitable remuneration for musicians, to ensure that our fantastic musicians are fairly and properly rewarded for their work.

Real progress is being made

“It is great news that the domination of the major music groups in the streaming market will be subject to scrutiny. This marks a crucial step towards creating a fairer and more transparent UK music landscape, particularly through addressing what the DCMS Select Committee’s report described as ‘deep concerns’ around the dominance of the major labels,” added MU Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl.

“It feels like real progress is being made to fix streaming, with some of the Select Committee's key recommendations already being taken forward. Many thanks to the CMA for their encouraging announcement today,” she said.

Urgent action is needed to fix streaming

The CMA referral is great news – but more must be done to support UK’s fantastic artists, musicians, and songwriters.

Equitable remuneration for performers, improving contract terms, and increasing the music publishing share of streaming revenue would go a long way to transforming the UK into the best place to be a musician, songwriter, or composer in the world.

Later this year, MPs will debate a Bill calling for a better deal for musicians and music creators. Speaking to MU members this summer, Kevin Brennan MP said: “It's entirely appropriate that we should try to change the law in order to make sure that some of that money, some of those billions of pounds and record profits that are being raked in by record labels, huge sums of money that are being raked in by streaming platforms, are trickling down into the pockets of the creators themselves and musicians who actually make the music.”

It's time for Government to put the value of music back where it belongs – in your hands.

Add your voice to the call.

Sign the Fix Streaming petition now

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MU Welcomes Milestone Victory in Fix Streaming Campaign

The MU has expressed its welcome for Universal Music’s recent announcement that the label intends to follow the lead of its major rivals, Sony and Warner, in committing to deliver royalties to unrecouped heritage artists.

Published: 07 April 2022

Read more about MU Welcomes Milestone Victory in Fix Streaming Campaign
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