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The Ivors Academy responds to UK Government inquiry into post-pandemic economic growth

The Academy has made the case for reforming the music streaming market in its response to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee inquiry into post-pandemic economic growth.

The pandemic continues to impact on many parts of the music industry, in particular creatives. An Encore Musicians survey showed that 64% of musicians are considering changing careers. If the talent pipeline dries up it will be disastrous for the music industry and will have long-term negative consequences for employment, the economy and the UK’s long-standing reputation for producing outstanding music and music creators.

It is vital the Government appreciates the role of music creators, without whom there will be no new music. So that music creation is a good career choice, the streaming market needs to adopt an innovative, sustainable and transparent model.

In our submission we showed, regardless of record margins of a few music groups, the streaming market is failing if the vast majority of successful music creators make only a negligible amount of income from streaming.

There are a number of reasons why the music streaming market is showing signs of dysfunction:

  • Although the market has evolved and largely moved online, the royalty model is still heavily weighted in favour of the major labels as physical distributors.
  • The price to the consumer is static. The average price of a subscription to a music streaming platform is £9.99 a month, but this price has stayed the same since 2008, meaning it has gone down in real terms considering inflation.
  • In a properly functioning market, music rights would naturally find their correct value through competition. Instead, it appears the market is failing to self-regulate and properly capture the value of rights. Could this be a sign of anti-competitive behaviour?
  • The lack of auditability of major music companies means that music makers are often unable to trace and claim the remuneration they are due.

We call on Government to:

  • Conduct a review of the music streaming market, to expose its flaws in order to create a functioning digital marketplace.
  • Enshrine in law transparency obligations for music companies, and the right of revocation or contract readjustment for creators.

Read our full submission.

To add your voice to our #FixStreaming campaign, add your signature to the 16,000+ calling on Government to urgently undertake a review of streaming to ensure that the streaming market is transparent and fair http://chng.it/bs8BxvYh

 

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