UK’s CMA to launch study into the streaming industry’s market dominance

Image: Shervin Lainez; Dave Meyers; Christopher Baker/The Guardian/Getty Images for MTV

The latest in the ongoing story of the UK’s increasing scrutiny into the streaming industry sees the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) accept the government’s request for investigation into the industry’s big weights on the grounds of monopolisation and market fairness. The government’s request follows a report published by MP’s criticising the streaming industry and calling for an overhaul of its market model, believing it is currently set up to only benefit major record labels and their superstar acts. This report identified the three big name labels (Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner) as controlling nearly 80% of the UK’s music market, thus allowing these labels to enter into more lucrative deals with platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. This is despite recent reports from artists such as Four Tet and supporting evidence published in a report from Rolling Stone that suggests artists do not earn much in royalties based on the conditions of their recording contracts. 

The CMA will launch a study into the industry and its model as a whole, determining whether there is a need for a full investigation and how the government should proceed in terms of legislature change. Speaking to The Guardian, Chief executive of the CMA Andrea Coscelli stated, “The UK has a love affair with music and is home to many of the world’s most popular artists.” She elaborates, “we want to do everything we can to ensure that this sector is competitive, thriving and works in the interests of music lovers.”

The study is currently in the final stages of being planned before its official launch.