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UK Music Groups Share Thoughts On Streaming With Inquiry
Christian Eede , January 27th, 2021 16:58

Beggars Group and Ninja Tune are among those who've offered opinions to an government inquiry into the economics of music streaming

UK music industry groups such as Beggars Group, BMG and Ninja Tune have voiced their thoughts on issues surrounding existing streaming models as part of an ongoing inquiry into the economics of music streaming by the UK government.

Across a number of reports to the inquiry, different industry figures spoke about unfair remuneration and a bias towards those who've built monopolies within the music industry. The government inquiry into the music streaming launched last year.

In its report, Beggars Group, which oversees the running and distribution of labels such as XL, Young Turks and Rough Trade, said: "The problem is that with streaming, the revenue flows in a trickle but over a longer period of time, in distinct contrast to the old world of sales, where the units were mainly shifted in the first few weeks from release, and hence the income was front-loaded. The marketing and promotion costs remain the same however, so somehow labels and artists have to bridge that funding gap."

BMG's report said: "A rule of thumb is that streaming services pay around two-thirds of their revenues to the music industry for the music rights they license; The problem for artists is that while the recording attracts the largest share (around 80%) of the music rights pot, a traditional record deal may offer them 20% or less of that share." The report adds that a possible way for artists to increase their streaming income "is for them to receive a higher share of the revenue generated by their recordings." BMG expects there would be significant opposition to this idea from some quarters though.

Ninja Tune's report speaks somewhat favourably of the advent of music streaming, saying: "The commercial marketplace for artists has improved since the advent of the streaming economy. More artists signed to Ninja Tune are better off now in the streaming era than in the pre-streaming era."

Voicing opposition to the current system though, Gomez's Tom Gray, who heads up Broken Record, a campaign focused on improving streaming royalties for artists, said: "Whenever a song is played in public, artists receive 'Equitable Remuneration', yet this does not presently exist in UK streaming." Gray recommends changing legislation so that equitable pay applies to streaming, as well as radio and television.

You can read all of the reports that have been submitted to the Economics Of Music Streaming inquiry here.