September 27, 2021
IMPALA says that a competitive, open and responsible music market “is vital” and it welcomes the investigation by the CMA into concentration in the music market in the UK. As for streaming, IMPALA points to its “Ten Point Streaming Plan”, which it published in March 2021, and which sets out key recommendations for labels as well as services. IMPALA has also examined the issue of equitable remuneration in the streaming market “and concluded it is not equitable”. In IMPALA’s view, “it would be damaging for emerging artists and would not actually introduce effective change”.
IMPALA points out that its members’ job, as independent music companies, is to maximise revenues for artists and help diverse artists break through. It says that its members are “inundated more than ever before by artists looking for label partners and we need the right conditions to take on these artists. Our vision is for a market full of opportunity and market access is crucial”.
IMPALA says that the digital music market is fundamental to today’s ecosystem. It says that it has raised the question of competition in the sector and the power of a handful of global digital players. In IMPALA’s view, being “indispensable trading partners comes with responsibilities” and its “Ten Point Streaming Plan” flags many of these issues. IMPALA believes that “more needs to be done to maximise revenues for artists and to boost diversity”.
IMPALA calls on the new Digital Markets Unit to carry out a “clear investigation into these issues”. It should include: (i) why the music market today still only represents 35% of its peak when adjusted for inflation; (ii) why the real subscription prices for music have gone down; (iii) the impact of key factors exerting downward pressure on prices, such as the value gap; (iv) an assessment of royalty reduction programmes, such as Spotify’s Discovery Mode; and (v) whether the very structure of the digital market and key players is in the public interest. IMPALA also urges the Government “to pursue a legislative response on the value gap and not fall behind the rest of Europe”. To read IMPALA’s response in full, click here.