UK’s competition regulator has said that a concentration of power in the hands of a music streaming services and record labels is not hurting either listeners or musicians.
The world’s biggest record labels and streaming services are not making excessive profits at the expense of artists struggling to make a living from the digital music revolution, a long-running investigation by the UK competition watchdog has concluded.
The Competition and Markets Authority said artists’ concerns about low returns were understandable, but intervening in the market would be unlikely to help.
The CMA found the streaming boom had benefited music fans, who have seen the cost of paying for services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music fall by a fifth between 2009 and 2021, and can also access songs for free via ad-supported packages.
It also said the world’s biggest music businesses – Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music, which control about three-quarters of the UK recorded music industry – and the streamers were not “likely to be making significant excess profits that could be shared with creators”.
However, the CMA’s final report will disappoint many artists and creators in the music industry who have struggled to make a meaningful income from streaming, claiming they do not get a fair share of revenues from deals, who had been hoping the watchdog would launch a full market investigation off the back of the findings of the study.