Insights Competition and Markets Authority announces plan to launch market study into music streaming


Following discussion by the CMA Board, the CMA has announced that it will now carry out work to consider and develop the final scope of the market study, before formally launching it as soon as possible.

The CMA has written to the Government and the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, saying that the Board has considered initial proposals to carry out a markets project on music streaming and agreed that work in this area supports a strategic goal of the CMA to foster effective competition in digital markets, ensuring that they operate in a way that promotes innovation and consumer interest. The Board also agreed that this work should be prioritised, i.e., it should be the next market study that the CMA undertakes.

In a press release announcing the CMA’s intentions, Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “… Over the past decade, the music industry has evolved almost beyond recognition, with streaming now accounting for more than 80% of all music listened to in this country. A market study will help us to understand these radical changes and build a view as to whether competition in this sector is working well or whether further action needs to be taken”.

The CMA has a number of ongoing pieces of work promoting competition in digital markets. These include investigating Google’s “privacy sandbox”, Facebook’s use of ad data and Apple’s AppStore. It also launched the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) in April 2021, which is operating in shadow form pending legislation that will provide it with its full powers. Separately to the proposed market study, an independent CMA panel is investigating Sony’s completed acquisition of “artist and label” services provider AWAL. To read the CMA’s press release and for a link to the letter to the DCMS, click here.