CMA launches probe into music streaming market

Streaming has changed the way we listen to music. In the UK, over 80% of recorded music is now heard via a streaming service rather than using traditional physical media such as CDs and vinyl.

Linking the creators who make the music and the fans who listen to it through a streaming service is a complex network of companies that help create, promote and distribute recorded music.

The study of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) examine the music streaming marketfrom the creator to the consumer, paying special attention to the role played by record labels and music streaming services.

As part of its assessment of how well the market is performing for audiences, the CMA will consider whether innovation is being stifled and whether any companies have excessive power. the CMA study will help build a deeper understanding of how companies in the marketplace influence listeners’ choices and experiences.

While focusing on the potential harm to consumers, the CMA will also assess whether the lack of competition among music companies could affect musicians, singers and songwriters whose interests are intertwined with those of music lovers.

If the CMA finds problems, it will consider what action may be necessary.

Andrea Coscelli, Executive Director of the CMA, said:

Whether you love Bowie, Beethoven, or Beyoncé, most of us now choose to stream our favorite music.

A vibrant and competitive music streaming market not only serves the interests of fans and creators, but also helps support a diverse and dynamic sector, which is of significant cultural and economic value to the UK.

As we examine this complex market, our thinking and conclusions will be guided by the evidence we receive.

The CMA is committed to fostering effective competition in digital markets and is working in several areas to achieve this goal. His job includes investigating Google’s ‘privacy sandbox’, Facebook’s use of advertising data Y Apple App Store. The CMA has also initiated a market study of mobile ecosystems as well as the launch of Digital Markets Unit in April 2021, which is operating in the shadows pending legislation giving it full powers. An independent CMA research group is also separately investigating the acquisition completed from the ‘artist and label’ service provider AWAL.

the market study it takes place in parallel to a wide range of work being done by the government in these markets. While the CMA’s work will focus on competition issues, it will maintain a consistent approach with other related work, including initiatives undertaken by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Intellectual Property Office and the Center for Ethics and Data Innovation.

the CMA now welcomes feedback on any of the issues raised in its Scope Statement and accompanying Market Study Notice. consumers, businesses and other interested parties.

Notes to editors

  1. Market research examines why certain markets may not be working well for consumers. They can lead to a variety of outcomes, including: a) making recommendations to the government to change regulations or public policy; b) encourage market companies to self-regulate; c) take consumer or competition law enforcement actions against companies; d) make a referral for further market research (phase 2); e) “clean health certificate”.
  2. A market study formally begins with the publication of a Market Study Notice by the CMA.
  3. The CMA must, within 12 months of publication of a market research notice, publish a market research report setting out its findings and the action (if any) it proposes to take.
  4. Letter from Andrea Coscelli to Julia Lopez MP, Julian Knight MP and George Freeman MP on music streaming. Greater correspondence between CMA and the government regarding music streaming.
  5. More information on the CMA approach to market research can be found in the Market Studies and Research: Guidance on the CMA Approach: CMA3 Guidance Page.
  6. According to BIS – the trade association for the British recorded music industry – streaming now accounts for 83% of music consumption in the UK.
  7. Media inquiries should be directed to [email protected] on 020 3738 6460.

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