The world's music streaming platforms have often been a source of controversy and debate in the music industry. While many love the convenience they offer to listeners and the ability to reach markets easier than ever, many artists are facing economic and financial strife due to the low payout per stream. The United Kingdom's Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee (DCMS) is aware of these issues and is now getting involved in a new investigation into streaming platforms' economic impact on the music industry as a whole.

On the DCMS Committee's website, officials shared a statement highlighting the large revenue brought in by the companies and emphasized how small the portion actually paid to artists is. "With streaming currently accounting for more than half of the global music industry’s revenue, this inquiry will look at the business models operated by platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play," the statement reads. "Music streaming in the UK brings in more than £1 billion in revenue with 114 billion music streams in the last year, however artists can be paid as little as 13% of the income generated."

The UK Parliament is asking artists, labels, and executives to come forward with their experiences to assist the investigation. They've introduced five questions that they'd like answered by those affected in an effort to better understand how the situation applies to people throughout the music industry.

  • What are the dominant business models of platforms that offer music streaming as a service?
  • Have new features associated with streaming platforms, such as algorithmic curation of music or company playlists, influenced consumer habits, tastes, etc?
  • What has been the economic impact and long-term implications of streaming on the music industry, including for artists, record labels, record shops, etc?
  • How can the Government protect the industry from knock-on effects, such as increased piracy of music? Does the UK need an equivalent of the Copyright Directive?
  • Do alternative business models exist? How can policy favour more equitable business models?

It's interesting to note that in addition to assurance that artists are being paid properly, the committee is also looking into how streaming affects brick-and-mortar record shops. 

The deadline to make a submission is Monday, November 16th. You can also submit a testimony to the officials on their committee page here.

Source: Digital Music News



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