Music industry as tough as it has always been, watchdog says Wednesday December 14 2022, 11:29 PM

The UK's competition watchdog has found streaming has made the music industry challenging 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 in the UK last year.MPs had demanded a "complete reset" of the industry, amid "pitiful returns" for artists. They had called for the CMA to look into the power of the major players.

Low earnings report addresses the claim most artists are paid far too little for music streams and the business model benefits only big labels and star acts.

A million streams per month would earn an artist only about £12,000 per year, it says.

Spotify is believed to pay between £0.002 and £0.0038 per stream, Apple Music about £0.0059.

YouTube pays the least - about £0.00052 (0.05p).

Phone playing music

The report found streaming was now the primary means for artists and labels to distribute music and the public was embracing 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 a new lease of life and new audiences
  • The number of artists streaming music rose from about 200,000 to 400,000 between 2014 and 2020

A number of groups had called for a full market investigation by the CMA - and more solutions to support singers and songwriters.

But the watchdog rejected this because "our initial findings have not identified any significant concerns in terms of consumer outcomes relating to music streaming".

The #BrokenRecord campaign was one of those groups - started by Gomez member Tom Gray at the beginning of lockdown after artists lost touring income.

He told BBC News: "A serious concern is the mantra that things have always been this difficult.

"Indeed 'just as tough as' suggests things may have been worse - but we can see no evidence for such an assertion.

"The IPO carried out a report into creator earnings last year and could not find data to say where things were in the past, so it feels fairly groundless.

"Creators find it harder now to make income from recorded music than ever before."

(Part of a BBC Article - Full Version here