Insights Creator Remuneration: Committee calls on Government to address revenue split


In the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s recent report on ‘Creator Remuneration’ (on which we’ve commented here) the Committee took the opportunity to take stock on progress made since the publication of their report on the ‘Economics of Music Streaming’ (on which we’ve reported here, here, and here) which called for a ‘complete reset’ to address what it identified as structural problems within the recorded music industry and streaming economy. The Committee welcomed some positive signs of progress, including the publication of the voluntary code of practice on transparency, the industry-wide agreement on metadata, and numerous research commissioned by the Government. However, there is concern in some parts that progress is too slow. As a result, the Committee has recommended that the Government maintains its momentum in light of the extensive research it has commissioned and “looks at how it can drive fundamental reform of music streaming with a package of measures deigned to make streaming work for all”.

The Committee also welcomed the Government’s publication of the terms of reference for the new Creator Remuneration Working Group (“CRWG”) which will be tasked with “exploring and considering industry-led actions on remuneration from music streaming for existing and future music creators”. However, it expressed concern that the membership of the working group left creators with a minority voice and that record producers were unrepresented. Therefore, the Committee has recommended that the Government “revisit” the CRWG’s membership “to give music makers a stronger and fairer voice over issues of remuneration”.

Finally, the Committee revisited a subject touched upon in the earlier ‘Economics of Music Streaming” report, namely the split in revenues between recording and publishing rights (which it said generally stands at 55%:15% respectively). The Committee noted that in its ‘Music and streaming market study’ (commented upon here), the Competition and Markets Authority concluded that the “current split could still be sub-optimal, particularly for songwriters”, but that it was ultimately a matter for Government and policy makers whether the current split is appropriate and fair. The Committee has gone further and said that the revenue split between recording and publishing rights “does not reflect the importance of songwriters, composers and publishers in the music streaming process” and has called on the Government to consult with fans, music makers and other stakeholders to “incentivise an optimal rate for publishing rights in order to fairly remunerate creators for their work”.

The Report can be read in full here.