MPs call for music streaming fairness
January 13, 2023
By Colin Mann
More focus is still needed on ensuring creators and performers receive a fairer cut of the money made from streaming music, according to a report from the UK House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which calls for the establishment of a wide-ranging national strategy for music.
The DCMS Committee’s recommendations follow an examination of the progress made since an initial report in July 2021, which called for artists to be given a legal right to a more equal share of revenues as part of a ‘complete reset’ of the streaming market. As part of its review, the Committee held an evidence session in November 2022 with policy experts and industry figures.
While welcoming the advances made by the Government, including the involvement of stakeholders through the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the undertaking of further research, the Committee’s report highlights frustrations with the lack of discussion on core issues such as artists’ pay.
The report calls for the establishment of working groups on remuneration and performer rights, alongside more transparency for the groups already set up and greater departmental and ministerial involvement.
The Committee also warns the current approach to cultural policy making is too scatter-gun to be effective. The Government should take a more proactive strategic role and develop a national strategy for music which includes an assessment of the impact of digital technology on musicians, songwriters and composers, and on the music industry’s potential for growth.
“Over the last 18 months, the Government has made some welcome moves towards restoring a proper balance in the music industry, but there is still much more to do to ensure the talent behind the music is properly rewarded,” stated Damian Green MP, Acting Chair of the DCMS Committee. “As the Committee heard, there is still frustration about the returns for the vast majority of musicians and songwriters. Too many of them receive pitiful returns despite making successful music. The main players need to get together to remedy this in a sustainable way.”
“The world of music streaming is highly susceptible to changes in digital technology and the Government needs to make sure it is ahead of the game by taking a more strategic role in coordinating policy across departments. The Government described our initial report as a ‘key moment for the music industry’. It now needs to make sure it follows through on the work done so far to fix the fundamental flaws in the market. British music is a huge national asset and is loved around the world. British musicians and songwriters need to share in this success.”