Thank you for contacting me about music streaming.
I have long been a strong advocate for the music industry as an MP.
I grew up in Sheffield in the 90s and 00s, I had access to great live music and great music venues. Like many people, it was something that I took for granted. I value the music industry and have long supported a solution that provides transparency and fairness. During the pandemic I have worked to protect and support music venues and help with its recovery. Please follow this link to see me speak on the value of music venues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mZnpd-d4WA
However as more and more music is consumed digitally via streaming services, it is vital that Government policy is reactive to this change. Therefore I believe the UK should be a world leader in legislation on streaming.
I agree the amount received by artists through the streaming of their work is pitiful and that we need a complete reset of the economic model for streaming, as well as investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority. When music lovers stream their favourite tracks, they expect the artists who perform them to profit.
I therefore support the Copyright (Rights and Remuneration of Musicians, Etc.) Bill introduced by Kevin Brennan MP, and attended the debate last week.
I also welcome the landmark report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee which is detailed and evidence-led. I share its concerns that not all stakeholders have received proportionate benefits and that the situation has been exacerbated by the lack of live music during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK music industry employs over 200,000 people, including 50,000 artists, and contributes an estimated £5.2 billion gross value added to the UK economy, of which £1.5 billion is from retail revenues. One in every ten tracks streamed globally is by a British artist.
Music and musicians are talented and creative, and have also provided comfort, enjoyment, solace and entertainment through their music during the pandemic. Music has helped many people through lockdown and, without live music, I know streaming has been one of the only ways musicians have been able to make money. I believe streaming companies and record companies have been maximising their profits at the expense of musicians, and it is time the system was fairer.
The UK Government has said it believes it is important for artists to be fairly remunerated for their work and described the DCMS Select Committee inquiry as a key moment for the industry. It has referred the issue to the Competition and Markets Authority which, as you know, intends to launch a market study into music streaming.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this issue. I can assure you I will continue to follow this matter closely and to call for a fairer outcome for musicians in the music streaming economy.