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STREAMING STUDY A NO GO
7/26/22

The music streaming marketplace is delivering good outcomes for consumers, the U.K.’s Competition & Markets Authority has determined, and will not be conducting a market investigation. The CMA is open to receiving feedback over the next four weeks and received some immediately about continued concerns for songwriters.

In its report, the CMA found that while the three major labels play a key role in recorded music, they are not “currently causing consumers harm” or “driving the concerns raised by artists.” “Overall, the evidence we have seen does not support the allegation that there are restrictions or distortions to competition that are leading the majors to suppress publishing revenues,” they write in the report.

The CMA did note it would be concerned if the market changed in ways that could harm consumer interests. “For example, it would be concerned if innovation in the sector decreased, or if the balance of power changed and labels and streaming services began to make sustained and substantial excess profits.”

CMA Interim Chief Executive Sarah Cardell said: “For many artists it is just as tough as it has always been, and many feel that they are not getting a fair deal. Our initial analysis shows that the outcomes for artists are not driven by issues to do with competition, such as sustained excessive profits.”

Merck Mercuriadis, founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, was among those who found the decision troubling.

“Today the CMA has not acted to address the impact on the creative songwriting community, and this is a missed opportunity to follow up on those concerns raised by MPs on the DCMS select committee,” he said. “It is a disappointment for songwriters who earn pitiful returns from streaming, not because there is not enough to go round, but simply because it is not being shared fairly and equitably.

“Hipgnosis will continue to call for fundamental reform of a broken system which does not recognize the paramount role of the songwriter in the music ecosystem.”

Read more…