UK Music Streaming Services Face Competition Investigation

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

20 Oct 2021

The UK’s competition regulator has announced plans to investigate the music streaming market.

The Competition and Markets Authority will look to determine whether services like Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube actually deliver value for consumers & artist.

The study follows a damning report delivered by MP’s last month which raised “deep concerns” about the position of major music companies in the streaming market with class for a “complete reset” of the model.

“The UK has a love affair with music and is home to many of the world’s most popular artists,” said Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that this sector is competitive, thriving and works in the interests of music lovers.”

Streaming as a model has been largely successful with the value of the global recorded music market rising by 7.4% to $21.6bn (£15.7bn) last year. This was in part due to a jump in demand for paid streaming services thanks to global lockdowns due to the emergence of covid-19.

“Over the past decade, the music industry has evolved almost beyond recognition, with streaming now accounting for more than 80% of all music listened to in this country,” Coscelli said.

“A market study will help us to understand these radical changes and build a view as to whether competition in this sector is working well or whether further action needs to be taken.”

In a letter to Julian Knight, the chairman of the Commons culture select committee, Coscelli said the CMA would act quickly to get the market study up and running.

“In the light of the concerns you have collectively expressed, this work should be prioritised,” he said. “That is, it should be the next market study that the CMA launches.”