DCMS Economics Of Streaming Inquiry

Tracking the DCMS select committee’s Economics Of Music Streaming Inquiry

In October 2020 the Digital Culture Media & Sport Select Committee in the UK Parliament announced an inquiry into the economics of music streaming.

You can follow CMU’s coverage of the inqury and related events – and access relevant resources from the CMU Library – via this CMU Timeline.

You can access official announcements from and evidence submitted to the inquiry – and recordings of oral hearings – on the committee’s website here.


The Music Managers Forum in the UK and CMU Insights have been investigating and debating the economics of music streaming through the ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ project for the last five years. You can access some key outputs from that work here…

Dissecting The Digital Dollar: Executive Summary

Dissecting The Digital Dollar: The Book

Digital Dollar Guide: Deals Guide

Digital Dollar Guide: Transparency Guide

Digital Dollar Guide: Song Royalties Guide


Fully get to grips with the complexities of digital licensing and the various digital dollar debates with these slides and guides from CMU Insights and CMU Trends – plus special editions of the Setlist podcast from May 2020…

CMU Insights Speed Briefing: The Streaming Debate

CMU Insights: Performer Payments From Streaming

CMU Trends: Digital Music Market In Ten Steps

CMU Trends: Digital Dollar In Ten Steps

CMU Trends: Streaming Challenges In Ten Step

Setlist: Things people get wrong about streaming – Part One

Setlist: Things people get wrong about streaming – Part Two


Updates on the inquiry and its hearings from CMU – sign to the CMU Daily and Setlist podcast for all the latest news.

May 2020

Musicians’ Union and Ivors Academy call for government intervention to “fix streaming”

October 2020

Parliament’s culture select committee to investigate the economics of music streaming

Setlist: Parliament probes the economics of streaming

November 2020

Performer ER in the spotlight at first parliamentary hearing on the economics of music streaming

Setlist: Artists tell MPs streaming is “threatening the future of music”

December 2020

Culture select committee chair says he will name and shame anyone trying to stop artists from speaking out about streaming

Performer ER certain to be debated once again at second parliamentary hearing on streaming

Ivors Academy calls for regulation of major music firms and new data standards as Parliament again considers the economics of streaming

January 2021

Labels expected to argue against ER on streams at tomorrow’s select committee hearing

BPI cautions against radically changing a streaming model that is “working well for so many”

Major labels face tough questions and frank criticism at latest Parliamentary session on the economics of streaming

Artist and songwriter groups respond to major label statements at select committee streaming inquiry

February 2021

Indie labels in the spotlight as Parliament’s economics of streaming inquiry continues

MU and Ivors say they are optimistic of “fairer deal” as Parliament’s streaming inquiry proceeds

Safe harbour in the spotlight as tech platforms questioned as part of Parliament’s streaming inquiry

Spotify, Apple and Amazon face MPs in Parliament’s ongoing inquiry into streaming

March 2021

Setlist: The music business year so far

Major label dominance and making available back in the spotlight at final Parliamentary session on streaming

Discovery Mode, ER and royalty distribution models in the spotlight as IMPALA publishes ten point plan to “make streaming work”

April 2021

156 artists call on UK government to add ER to streams and launch competition investigation into the majors

Setlist: Artists call on Boris Johnson to fix streaming

June 2021

The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison among 76 new artists joining call for ER on streams

Artist and management community welcome Sony Music’s decision to pay royalties to artists on unrecouped pre-2000 record deals

Kevin Brennan MP proposes “a new right to fair remuneration” from streaming for musicians in private members bill

Setlist: Could this bold new law finally fix streaming?

July 2021

AIM publishes insights on the artist growth model for streaming royalty distribution

Setlist: Let’s fix streaming by taxing the superstars

European performers back the UK artists calling for equitable remuneration on streams

UK Parliament calls for “complete reset” of music streaming, including ER for performers and competition investigation into the majors

DCMS Committee Economics Of Streaming Report: Lots of quotes

Setlist: The things people still get wrong about streaming – dissecting the Economics Of Streaming report

BMG welcomes Parliament’s streaming report: “The music industry desperately needs to modernise”

August 2021

CMU publishes new guide on performer payments from streaming

September 2021

PayPerformers says the “contractual system” for sharing out streaming income isn’t working

FAC and MMF publish white paper on Parliament’s big streaming report

Government responds to Parliament’s economics of streaming report

Responses to the UK government’s response to Parliament’s Economics Of Streaming Report

MU and #brokenrecord welcome government’s economics of streaming response, but want more commitment on copyright reforms

Merck Mercuriadis responds to NMPA chief and UK government on impact of majors on song royalties

Intellectual Property Office publishes report on music-makers’ earnings

Setlist: The government responds to Parliament’s streaming report

October 2021

UK competition regulator announces market study into music streaming

Artists and songwriter groups welcome Competition & Market Authority’s streaming market study

November 2021

MPs again call for performer ER on streams as Universal boss’s £150 million pay packet is compared to songwriter earnings

Kevin Brennan MP publishes copyright reforming bill he reckons will fix streaming

Statements on Kevin Brennan’s copyright reforming bill


We have reviewed and dissected written submissions made to the inquiry, breaking everything down into the ten key topics and issues covered. You can check our overview of those topics here. Below we review in more detail what key submissions said about each of those issues.

#01: The big picture view
Submission: CMU

#02: The artist / label split
Submission: BPI
Submission: IFPI
Submission: MMF/FAC
Submission: BMG

#03: The recording / song split
Submission: IMRO
Submission: IMPF
Submission: BMG
Submission: The Ivors Academy
Submission: Hipgnosis Songs Fund

#04: Equitable remuneration
Submission: #brokenrecord
Submission: MU
Submission: MMF/FAC

#05: User-centric royalty distribution
Submission: Hipgnosis Songs Fund
Submission: BMG
Submission: MU
Submission: Will Page
Submission: AIM
Submission: AIM supplementary
Submission: ERA

#06: Transparency
Submission: Ivors Academy
Submission: ISM
Submission: MU
Submission: MMF/FAC

#07: Music rights data
Submission: Ivors Academy
Submission: YouTube

#08: Royalty chains
Submission: MMF/FAC

#09: Safe harbour
Submission: BPI
Submission: IFPI
Submission: AIM
Submission: IMPF
Submission: Ivors Academy
Submission: YouTube
Submission: Council Of Music Makers

#10: Curation and algorithms
Submission: Beggars Group
Submission: state51
Submission: NMC
Submission: BMG
Submission: Ivors Academy

Extra: More from the majors
Submission: Universal Music
Submission: Sony Music
Submission: Warner Music

Last updated: November 2021