Saturday, December 4, 2021

UK streaming music comes under scrutiny from competition watchers

LONDON (AP) – Regulators are tightening their grip on the UK music streaming market to see if there is enough competition after lawmakers raised concerns that major online platforms like Spotify might be too dominant.

On Tuesday, the UK competition authority said it would conduct “market research” to assess whether new measures are needed to improve competition in streaming.

The Competition and Markets Authority is taking action following a request from lawmakers who said in a report that the UK’s record market is dominated by three major music labels – Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music. This allows them to do better deals with streaming platforms and puts smaller competitors at a disadvantage, while artists have complained that they are not getting their fair share of streaming fees, the report said.

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The watchdog said the review was necessary because the way people listen to music has changed over the past decade and now streaming accounts for over 80% of all music played in the UK.

“The UK has a love of music and is home to many of the world’s most popular artists,” said Andrea Coselli, executive director of the government. “We want to do our best to keep this sector competitive, prosperous and in the best interest of music lovers.”

The Competition and Markets Authority uses market research to check if there are any competition and consumer issues in a particular market and, if so, determines how to address these issues, including recommending changes to government regulations or taking action enforcement.

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