Major Labels

UK leaders call for 50% of stream revenue to be paid to artists as part of a ‘complete reset’ of the music industry

A bombshell study released by the UK Parliament calls for comprehensive reform “not only to redress the balance for songwriters, performers, and composers but to tackle fundamental problems within the recorded music industry.”

“pitiful returns”

Successful artists see ‘pitiful returns’ from streaming while some performers are frozen out of payments altogether, according to the report.

The report calls for “equitable remuneration” for artists with the MPs calling for a ‘complete reset’ of music streaming to fairly reward performers and creators.

That could see music played on platforms like Spotify treated as rental under UK law with 50% of the generated recorded music royalties paid directly to performers via a PRO.

The report also condemns the dominance of Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music and calls for investigations and actions to protect artists and independent labels.

From the report:

The issues we’ve examined reflect much deeper and more fundamental problems within the structuring of the recorded music industry itself.”

“We have real concerns about the way the market is operating, with platforms like YouTube able to gain an unfair advantage over competitors and the independent music sector struggling to compete against the dominance of the major labels. 

“We’ve heard of witnesses being afraid to speak out in case they lose favour with record labels or streaming services. It’s time for the Government to order an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority on the distortions and disparities we’ve uncovered.” 

Download a pdf of the full ECONOMICS OF MUSIC STREAMING study here.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and an online professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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