Music streaming services under investigation by competition watchdog


In a letter to ministers, CMA Director General Andrea Coscelli said the level of concern among MPs was such that he decided to prioritize the investigation before others.

He said: “We want to do everything we can to make this industry competitive, prosperous and work for the benefit of music lovers.

“Over the past decade, the music industry has evolved in almost unrecognizable ways, with streaming now accounting for over 80% of all music listened to in this country.

Market research allows the watchdog to identify competition concerns before tightening regulations, forcing companies to change their behavior or move on to a thorough investigation.

Julian Knight, Chairman of the Culture Select Committee, said: “Our investigation revealed fundamental problems within the structure of the music industry itself. This action marks a key step forward.

It comes after the CMA warned in September that record artists could see their bargaining power further eroded by the $ 430million (£ 312million) buyout of AWAL by Sony Music, another of the major labels. . He said AWAL could have challenged the dominant distributors if it had remained an independent company. The matter has been referred for a full Phase 2 investigation.

Musicians and producers have suffered a 41% drop in income since the millennium, underscoring the financial strain on artists in the age of streaming.

Last year, studio artists and producers earned £ 205million in CD and vinyl sales, downloads and on-demand streaming, according to a report by the Intellectual Property Office.

This equates to the amount they earned in 2000, which, after factoring in inflation, shows that incomes have almost halved.

A survey also found that 62% of artists made £ 20,000 or less from music last year, with streaming royalties only accounting for 6% of their earnings.

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