Music industry: Britain’s competition watchdog has found that streaming has made the music industry difficult for many artists.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said more than 80% of recorded music. Was now listened to via streaming, with more than 138 billion streams recorded in the UK last year.
MPs called for a “total reset” of the Music industry, amid “pitiful returns” for artists.
They called on the CMA to examine the power of the major players.
Although the report was primarily aimed at consumers, the watchdog found. That a small number of high-profile artists enjoyed most of the financial success. While the majority did not earn any substantial income.
CMA interim chief executive Sarah Cardell said. “It’s as tough as ever for many artists – and many feel they’re not getting a fair deal.”
However, streaming the notes to the message made it easier not only for listeners to access the music. But also for artists to record and share it.
The report addresses claims that most artists are paid too little for music streams and the business model only benefits major labels and stars.
A million streams a month would earn an artist only about £12,000 a year, it is said.
Spotify is thought to pay between £0.002 and £0.0038 per stream, Apple Music around £0.0059.
YouTube pays the least – about £0.00052 (0.05p).
Catherine Willcox of British country music duo Ward Thomas told BBC News. “After more than a decade in the business and achieving relative success. A number one album, sold-out tours and many exciting festival spots. It may seem from the outside that we would be quite well financially.
“However, with the overall decline in album sales and the rise of streaming. No one is quite sure how they will sustain a creative career. As the landscape of the industry is changing so dramatically.”
CMA noted that each artist is competing harder than ever for each of these streams. Both with new artists and in the form of a back catalog of all the Music industry ever made.
“We’re incredibly lucky to be able to do it full-time for the moment. Wilcox said, “but it’s always very thin — and that’s coming from two artists who profit from the masters, the performance rights, and the live shows.
“That’s even more difficult for songwriters who only get their author’s cut.”
The best songs
More artists than ever are releasing music, the report says, but that doesn’t mean more are being successful.
Analysis published by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) shows. That the number reaching one million UK streams per month remains low at around 1,700.
“Some of the best songwriters we know have had to secure other sources of income, so they can’t devote proper time to their craft,” Wilcox said.
“The best songs are yet to be written. But if they aren’t fairly compensated, too many very talented people will be forced out.”
A new audience
The report found that streaming was now the primary means for artists and labels to distribute music, and the public had embraced it.
Some of the other key findings include:
Access to a wide range of music – old and new. Means older songs can more easily find new life and new audiences
The number of artists streaming music grew from around 200,000 to 400,000 between 2014 and 2020
A number of groups called for a full market survey by the CMA – and other solutions to support singer-songwriters.
However, the watchdog rejected this because “our initial findings did not identify any significant concerns regarding consumer outcomes around music streaming”.
The #BrokenRecord campaign was one such group. Founded by Gomez member Tom Gray at the start of the lockdown after artists lost touring income.
He told BBC News: “The real problem is the mantra that things have always been so hard.
“Indeed ‘as hard as’ suggests that things could have been worse – but we see no evidence for such a claim.
“The IPO did a report on creator earnings last year and couldn’t find data to say where it was in the past, so it seems pretty unfounded.
“It’s harder than ever for creators to make money from a music recording.”
Listeners now have access to a huge selection of music for a fixed monthly subscription fee – and they’ve come down in real terms.
But Mr Gray said it was bad for the artist.
“Rhapsody, the first streaming service, was $9.99 in 2001,” he said.
“Streaming costs the same 21 years later.
“Obviously this is a good deal for the consumer – but does it destroy the value of the music itself?
“The answer should be ‘Yes’.”
The CMA also touched on “strong concern” from some artists.
Mr Gray said: “While music has always been uncertain, the pro-rata system is significantly more winner-takes-all than anything we’ve seen before.”
The CMA said the market was delivering good results for customers but would be concerned if:
Innovation in the industry has decreased
The balance of power shifted and publishing and streaming services began to make sustained and substantial excess profits
Independent Music Association CEO Paul Pacifico said: “We welcome the CMA’s updated report, which confirms what we know – that building success in music is hard – and highlights the need for organizations across music to work together to ensure positive outcomes for the sector. .”
British Phonographic Industry chief executive Geoff Taylor also welcomed the findings, saying: “We will continue to work with the CMA and the government to help ensure the streaming market works for artists, songwriters, record companies and fans.”
Ms Cardell said: “Our initial analysis shows that outcomes for artists are not driven by competition-related issues such as persistent excess profits.
“We would now like to hear views on our initial findings to help guide our thinking and inform our final report.”
“Today’s edition of the CMA highlights what it sees as the positive impacts of streaming music – but we feel that they have failed to recognize the very serious issues they present to creators,” she said.