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U.K. INDUSTRY REACTS TO STREAMING REPORT

The U.K. music industry has responded to the government’s damning report on the economics of streaming, with opinions divided on the various recommendations. Released today, the report concludes that artists need a legal right to a fairer share of streaming revenues and called for a "complete reset."

BPI chief Geoff Taylor warned that the recommendations might result in “unintended consequences for investment into new talent,” urged the government to avoid any policy proposals that “imperil this country's extraordinary global success in music" and stated, "Labels are committed to ensuring that artists share fairly in the growth from streaming.”

Paul Pacifico, CEO of independent trade body AIM, said the MPs “have tried to make recommendations that benefit creators in good faith.” However, AIM’s view is that equitable remuneration—one of the recommendations in the report—“will not deliver the outcome they are hoping for. It is a 20th century solution not fit for the 21st century digital market and will leave the next generation of artists worse off.”

In a joint statement, the Music Managers Forum and Featured Artist Coalition called the report “a serious and comprehensive piece of work” that “contains a wide range of recommendations, many of which, if implemented, could fundamentally reset and improve the current economic model for recorded music.”

In particular, the MMF and FAC welcomed the idea that legacy recording deals be overhauled, that artists recapture their rights after a period of time and that inefficiencies and inequalities around songwriter “royalty chains” and “black box” allocations be challenged. They also praised the proposal of a market-wide investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to examine whether competition in the recorded music market is being distorted. “This is a once in a lifetime moment to reset our business along fairer and more equitable lines, it is not an opportunity to be wasted,” they said.

Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis welcomed the recommendation that songwriters and composers receive revenue parity with recording rightsholders for streaming as well as the CMA investigation. "Our wish is that this will lead to songwriters' being paid fairly and equitably and in a manner that recognizes that without the song, we have no music industry. Ultimately, if we are to make streaming truly fair for songwriters and artists, it is critical that they are given a direct seat at the negotiating table, have exclusive rights, not merely a right to remuneration, and are paid in line with the share taken by record labels.”

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