UK govt refers major labels to competition committee following streaming enquiry

The UK government has recommended the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that it consider an investigation into the UK’s leading major labels – Sony, Warner and Universal Music. It’s also recommended the CMA investigate YouTube’s dominance in the streaming market. 

The move comes after an enquiry into the economies of streaming, which concluded that the system needed a “complete reset” and that the return for artists was “pitiful”. The enquiry featured months of evidence giving and interviews from prominent artists and songwriters like Nile Rodgers, Elbow and Radiohead. 

According to the Musician’s Union, the government’s response to the enquiry, alongside recommending the CMA investigate the majors and YouTube, has also recommended further research into “Creators’ Earnings in the Digital Age”, to further address unbalanced remuneration for artists, musicians and songwriters in the age of streaming. 

While no legislative action has been taken by the government so far, its recommendations have been welcomed by the Broken Record campaign, whose movement first brought the widespread issues to the DCMA’s attention. 

The BPI, which represents the UK’s recorded music industry said: “Should the CMA conduct a study, we look forward to detailing labels’ role in supercharging the careers of British talent within a complex and dynamic ecosystem.”

Read more about the Musician’s Union response here.

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