Its’ time for a complete re-set of streaming
Streaming has transformed the way we listen to and discover music. But the law has not kept up with the pace of technological change.
As a result, songwriters and performers are not paid fairly when their music is streamed. That’s why we’re campaigning with the MU, songwriters and artists to #FixStreaming and Keep Music Alive.
In a revolutionary report, the DCMS Select Committee of MPs has called for a “complete reset” of music streaming so that songwriters, composers and artists, who currently receive “pitiful returns”, are fairly rewarded.
This is after months of campaigning and thanks to you and almost 18,000 other songwriters, composers and performers, who called for a music streaming inquiry. The Committee heard in detail how streaming is affecting songwriters, composers and performers.
In the Government’s response to the DCMS Select Committee report they referred the case for a study on the economic dominance of the major music groups to the Competition and Markets Authority, who have confirmed they will launch a market study. We called for this in our evidence to the Select Committee, and it is an important step forwards.
The Government have also established industry groups to look at, and report back on, issues including data management and contract transparency.
The Intellectual Property Office have also published research on music creators earnings in the digital era, the most comprehensive study of it’s kind in the UK.
How you can help
Write to your local MP and ask them to support Kevin Brennan MP’s Private Members Bill, which includes measures to protect music creators from bad contracts, unfair payments and a lack of transparency through an increased ability to undertake contract revision and adjustment.
Use and personalise our template message:
Dear [Find out who your MP is via Parliament UK],
As your constituent and a music creator, I am asking if you would consider supporting Kevin Brennan MP’s Copyright Private Members’ Bill at its second reading on 3 December 2021.
I would also like to invite you to a reception in the Members’ Dining Room on 2 December, 7-9pm. It will be a chance to talk to musicians, songwriters and composers about streaming and the issues with the current system.
This Bill would fix many of those issues and put the value of music back where it belongs – in the hands of music makers. This would help me and many other musicians, songwriters and composers in your constituency make a sustainable living from our work.
[Please use this space to explain what you earn from streaming, and the impacts of having to rely on this income because of the loss of live performance during the Covid-19 pandemic]
Streaming has created huge opportunities for music makers. But a gap in the law means that most streaming income ends up in the pockets of record labels, streaming platforms, and digital giants, rather than in the hands of music creators. These huge and often foreign-owned multinational corporations have done astronomically well this past year compared to performers, songwriters, and composers.
On 15 July this year, the DCMS Select Committee released its report into the ‘Economics of Music Streaming’. The cross party select committee of MPs called for a “complete reset” of music streaming so that artists, performers and creators, who currently receive “pitiful returns”, are fairly rewarded. The Committee’s report endorsed the #FixStreaming and #BrokenRecord campaigns’ key asks, calling for the Government to:
- Legislate so that performers enjoy the right to equitable remuneration for streaming income.
- Refer the case to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for undertaking a full market study into the economic impact of the major music groups’ dominance.
The Government’s response on 21 September committed to further research into the issues raised in the Select Committee’s report while also writing to the CMA asking them to consider the Select Committee’s recommendation that there be a market study. The CMA has now announced that it will carry out a study into the music streaming market to assess the dominance of big record labels and platforms on whether artists are getting a fair deal.
Now the Government must commit to changing the law so that the UK’s world leading music makers do not fall behind other countries that already have measures that enable creators to be protected from bad contracts, unfair payments and lack of transparency through an increased ability to undertake contract reversion and adjustment. Reforms such as these would go a long way to transforming the UK into the best place to be a musician, songwriter, or composer in the world. They would also help me, as your constituent, making a living from my work.
These are the reforms that Kevin Brennan’s Bill seeks to implement and I ask that you please support it and attend the reception on 2 December to find out more.
[Your name, home address and postcode]
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