The Culture Committee of the European Parliament yesterday called for new rules in the European Union to ”ensure a fair and sustainable environment for music streaming”.
That call came as the committee of MEPs formally adopted a report published back in June that considered the challenges posed by streaming for songwriters and composers, or ’authors’ to use the legal term. The proposed new EU rules would cover transparency and data.
On the former, the committee said there should be rules that ”oblige platforms to make their algorithms and recommendation tools transparent and to guarantee that European works are visible and accessible”.
They also proposed the introduction of a ’diversity indicator’ that would ”assess the array of genres and languages available and the presence of independent authors”, and stated that AI-generated content should be clearly labelled.
On the data front, ”rules should oblige streaming platforms to identify rightholders via the correct allocation of metadata to help their works to be discovered”.
The committee also discussed more generally issues with the streaming model, along the way criticising stream manipulation and schemes that reduce royalties in return for promo, like Spotify’s Discovery Mode. And also the way streaming royalties are shared out, adding that “pre-digital” conventions that tend to favour record labels should be “revised”.
Committee member Ibán García Del Blanco says: “The success story of music streaming services has its own paradoxes. The majority of authors and performers, even those with hundreds of thousands of reproductions each year, do not receive remuneration that allows them to afford a decent living”.
”It is of paramount importance to recognise the role authors play in the music sector”, he added, ”review the revenue distribution model that streaming services use, and explore proportionate and efficient solutions to promote cultural diversity”.
The committee’s statement has been welcomed by GESAC – which represents song right collecting societies around Europe – and the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance.
The latter’s President, Helienne Lindvall, says: “Music streaming must be fixed to become fairer and sustainable for music creators, who currently struggle to make a living from it. This report is a crucial step towards future concrete actions for an ecosystem that fairly compensates those who deliver the core product on streaming services: music”.