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European Parliament votes in favor of music streaming royalty changes

  • 05 February 2024, Monday
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EU Parliament votes in favour of music streaming royalty changes - iMusician

The current European music streaming market (and not just European) has long been considered unsustainable and unjust, suffering from an imbalance in revenue allocation. Music streaming remains the primary source of music consumption for today’s listeners. However, the current streaming system leaves many performers and authors with little compensation.

Relevant changes might be incoming

The situation is now supposed to change as the European Parliament has called for a new EU legal framework for the music streaming royalty system. Back in January, the European Parliament officially decided in favor of changes to the music-streaming royalty industry, a verdict that was adopted by 532 votes to 61 with 33 abstentions.

Voting for such a resolution, the European Parliament aims to primarily ‘ensure the music streaming industry is fair and sustainable and promotes diversity.’ However, more changes are to be expected. The members of the European Parliament (also known as the MEPs) have further emphasized the importance of ensuring that European musical works are ‘visible, prominent, and accessible, among the ‘overwhelming amount’ of constantly growing content.”

Additionally, the new EU bill should oblige streaming platforms to make their algorithms and recommendation tools transparent to prevent unfair practices, such as manipulation of streaming figures, allegedly used to reduce artists’ fees.”

AI also plays an important role in the new European Union bill. The MEPs have suggested that a new label be created to inform the public when a song has been generated by an AI tool. Moreover, they have urged tackling ‘deep fakes’ that use identities, voices, or likenesses of artists without their consent.

Finally, the EU legislation should include diversity indicators “to assess the array of genres and languages available and the presence of independent authors.” According to several studies, revenues in the music streaming industry go primarily to major labels, such as Universal, Sony, or Warner Music, and a handful of the most successful and popular musicians. The new indicators should help better identify, promote, credit, and fairly reward ‘smaller players’ in the music industry.

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