According to CMA, the music streaming market is healthy for consumers despite complaints from artists

Concentration of power between a small handful of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music is currently no cause for concern for consumers, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.

In its final industry report, it found that consumers have benefited from digitization and competition between music streaming services.

Consumer prices fell by more than 20% in real terms between 2009 and 2021, with many services also offering free streaming music with ads.

The study found that around 39 million monthly active users access music streaming services in the UK, streaming 138 billion times a year.

But the CMA has also listened to concerns from artists and songwriters about how much they make from streaming. With an increasing number of artists, songs and streams, money from streaming is being shared more widely, with those with the most streams earning the most.

Over 60% of streams were music recorded by 0.4% of the top artists.

But the CMA said the small number of streaming platforms were unlikely to be to blame and that other policy measures needed to be addressed to address artists’ concerns.

Digitization has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of music people have access to and a large increase in the number of artists releasing music (from 200,000 in 2014 to 400,000 in 2020). This has meant that there is more competition to reach listeners and for related streaming revenues.

The study found that an artist could expect to earn around £12,000 from 12 million streams in the UK in 2021, yet less than 1% of artists reach that level of streams.

Parts of the streaming market have improved for some creators in recent years, with more choice of record label deals available.

While individual deals can vary considerably, the report found that average royalty rates across major artist deals have risen steadily from 19.7% in 2012 to 23.3% in 2021. For songwriters, revenue share intended for publishing rights has increased significantly from 8% in 2008 to 15% in 2021.

The CMA said an intervention in the market was unlikely to release additional money into the system to pay creators more.

Sarah Cardell, interim CEO of the CMA, said: “Streaming has transformed the way music fans access vast catalogs of music, providing a valuable platform for artists to reach new listeners quickly and at a consumer price. which has decreased in real terms over the years. years.

“However, we have heard from many artists and songwriters across the UK how they struggle to make a decent living off these services. These are understandable concerns, but our findings show they are not the result of ineffective competition, and the CMA’s intervention would no longer release money into the system that would help artists or songwriters.”

“While this report marks the end of the CMA market study, which addresses previously posed concerns about competition, we also hope that the detailed, evidence-based picture we have been able to build of this relatively new industry will provide a foundation that can be used by policy makers to assess whether further action is needed to help creators.

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