HomeInsightsDepartment for Culture, Media and Sport House of Commons Select Committee launches inquiry into “Economics of music streaming”

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The Committee says that it will examine what economic impact music streaming is having on artists, record labels and the sustainability of the wider music industry. With streaming currently accounting for more than half of the global music industry’s revenue, this inquiry will look at the business models operated by platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play. Music streaming in the UK brings in more than £1 billion in revenue, and there were 114 billion music streams in the last year. However artists can be paid as little as 13% of the income generated, the Committee says.

The Committee will also consider whether the Government should be taking action to protect the industry from piracy in the wake of steps taken by the EU on copyright and intellectual property rights.

The inquiry is seeking the perspectives of industry experts, artists and record labels as well as streaming platforms themselves. It is inviting written submissions to be submitted by 6pm on Monday 16 November 2020. Terms of reference:

  • What are the dominant business models of platforms that offer music streaming as a service?
  • Have new features associated with streaming platforms, such as algorithmic curation of music or company playlists, influenced consumer habits, tastes, etc?
  • What has been the economic impact and long-term implications of streaming on the music industry, including for artists, record labels, record shops, etc?
  • How can the Government protect the industry from knock-on effects, such as increased piracy of music? Does the UK need an equivalent of the Copyright Directive?
  • Do alternative business models exist? How can policy favour more equitable business models?

To access the inquiry page, click here.