Insights Government publishes response to DCMS Select Committee’s follow-up Report on its inquiry into the Economics of Music Streaming


In January 2023, the DCMS House of Commons Select Committee published a follow-up Report on its inquiry into the Economics of Music Streaming, having carried out a review of progress made since its main report was published in July 2021. In its follow-up Report, the Committee said that essentially, the Government had not done enough on some of the core issues raised in the main report, including artists’ pay, and called on the Government to establish working groups on remuneration and performer rights and ensure more transparency for the working groups already set up, as well as greater departmental and ministerial involvement.

The Government has now published its response, highlighting the work that has already been done following recommendations by the Committee, such as the IPO-commissioned research into the impacts of changes to copyright law, the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation’s research into the impacts of algorithmic music recommendation systems on streaming platforms and the Competition and Markets Authority’s report of its market study into the music streaming sector. However, the Government acknowledged the Committee’s point that for this work to have been worthwhile, it must result in “meaningful and lasting improvements to streaming” and that it “remains committed to making this happen”.

In response to the Committee’s recommendation of greater transparency around the working IPO’s groups and the hope that Ministers will take a more active role in these groups, the Government highlighted its publication of the membership of the working groups on metadata and transparency and its intention to publish the agendas and minutes of meetings of the working groups, as well as the draft agreements on metadata and code of practice on transparency once finalised. It also said that “[b]oth Ministers and officials have played an active role in this work and will continue to do so”.

In response to the Committee’s recommendation that the IPO establish working groups on remuneration and performer rights, the Government said that it “recognises that creator remuneration is a key issue in the music streaming debate and one which warrants attention”. It also said that while research into changes to copyright law, as recommended by the Committee, was ongoing, the Government had “considered it appropriate to defer detailed conversations on different approaches to remuneration, to ensure that discussions on this topic are properly informed by evidence”.

However, the Government said, now that the research into contract adjustment and rights reversion has been published and the research into equitable remuneration is in its advanced stages, it is “considering its approach on performers’ rights and remuneration and will take a decision on these matters in due course”.

In response to the Committee’s recommendation that the Government “take a more strategic approach to policymaking regarding cultural production and the creative industries” because responsibilities are currently dispersed across too many departments, which has created “persistent issues”, the Government said that it recognises the importance of taking a strategic approach to policy in order to support the long-term success of the creative industries. It said that it will be publishing a “Sector Vision” in the coming months that will set out government and industry’s shared ambitions for the sector to 2030. To read the Government’s response in full, click here.