The Musicians’ Union (MU) and The Ivors Academy have expressed disappointment at the CMA’s decision, announced in its report today, that they will not proceed with a full investigation into the music streaming market.

The CMA report suggests that consumers are well served by the current music streaming market. It references concerns raised by musician and creator representatives, but it does not support our contention that these are caused by market distortions or restrictions.

Along with other industry bodies and stakeholders, the MU and The Ivors Academy made detailed written submissions to the CMA and met with them to outline how their members are affected by the streaming market.

The two big issues from the Union and Academy’s perspective, in competition terms, are the major labels’ dominance of the market and suppression of the value of music publishing – and therefore royalties to songwriters – and also pricing remaining static for so long. The CMA did not find evidence of the suppression by the major labels of the music publishing share of revenue, which is the main focus of our collective response today.

Naomi Pohl, MU General Secretary, said:

‘It is disappointing that the competition issues we see in the music streaming market, which impact on our members’ earning capacity, will not be explored fully in a CMA investigation. The CMA’s release today highlights what it sees as positive impacts of music streaming, but we feel they have failed to recognise the very serious problems posed to creators.

‘In the long term, this could diminish the diversity of British music available to consumers as musicians are forced to seek other ways to make a living. We had particularly hoped that the CMA would deliver for songwriters who are currently receiving a small share of streaming revenue. Our fight to ‘Fix Streaming’ will continue, and we are still pushing for legislative reform to guarantee fair payments for our members.’

Tom Gray, Chair of The Ivors Academy said,

‘Without doubt, the CMA’s decision not to launch a full market investigation is disappointing for songwriters and composers and fails to address the urgent need to fully and properly value the song within streaming. While there have been positive steps to address historic contracts and explore user-centric models, much more needs to be done to put music creators at the heart of music, so they are properly rewarded for their work. It’s a long road to fair and equal treatment and we are committed to working with music creators, the Intellectual Property Office and partners to achieve this.’