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FAC and MMF response to the UK Gov response to the Economics of Music Streaming report which was published by Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee in July

22 September 2021

UMG’s IPO and the Ivors weren’t the only headline news yesterday – as, shortly before midnight, we also received the Government’s long-awaited responses to recommendations made by the DCMS Select Committee in their report on streaming. 
These are all detailed here.
The verdict? On the whole, positive.
Government has clearly recognised that there are fundamental problems in the recorded market, and many of the arguments made by the MMF and FAC in our recent White Paper appear to have been taken onboard.
For instance, the need for an established industry forum – overseen by Government – to advocate for changes in contracts, licensing, transparency and welfare, as well as the need for regulators at the Competition & Markets Authority to commit to a root and branch investigation of the recording and publishing industries.

We will report back on progress in coming weeks, but the following joint MMF & FAC reaction was issued earlier today:

David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition & Annabella Coldrick, CEO, Music Managers Forum

In the week where recorded music companies hit stellar valuations due to the streaming boom, we are pleased to see that the systematic inequalities faced by generations of artists, songwriters and musicians, which were highlighted by this groundbreaking inquiry are now being acknowledged by the Government. It’s encouraging to see the Government agree that regulatory frameworks, including copyright laws, have not kept pace with the changes brought about by streaming.

As the FAC and MMF have continually advocated through our Dissecting the Digital Dollar work, addressing these issues will require both legislation and industry change.

On this front, we are especially pleased that the majority of arguments detailed in our recent White Paper have been acknowledged. We fully support the push for a full-blown investigation of the recorded music market by the Competition & Markets Authority building on their recent work with AWAL and Sony.  We also have long called for the creation of an industry forum overseen by Government – now called the ‘contact group’ – to drive forward changes across the recorded and publishing sectors in areas such as contracts, licensing, transparency and welfare. 

However, we find it a pity that the issues around royalty chains, transparency and black box distribution have not been adequately acknowledged, as current legislation overseeing CMOs is ineffective. We hope that these can be explored further within the contact group. 

The Government using its influence to pressure our sector to agree to a modern code of practice covering all these issues would be a big leap forward and, as part of the contact group, both the FAC and MMF stand ready to contribute. 

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