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UK Watchdog To Probe Music Streaming Market

 |  October 19, 2021

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on Tuesday, October 19, that it will be carrying out a market study into the music streaming industry.

The announcement stated that following a discussion by the board, the regulator will now “consider and develop the final scope of the market study, before formally launching it as soon as possible.”

In a letter to members of parliament, CEO Andrea Coscelli wrote it was agreed that such work “supported a strategic goal of the CMA to foster effective competition in digital markets, ensuring they operate in a way that promotes innovation and the consumer interest.”

“We want to do everything we can to ensure that this sector is competitive, thriving and works in the interests of music lovers. 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.”

The music industry has increasingly moved towards a streaming model, backed by either advertising or subscriptions, as a way to secure more sustainable revenues. This lead the UK Watchdog to probe music streaming market.

According to SkyNews, value of the global recorded music market rose by 7.4% to US$21.6 billion last year, with a jump in demand for paid streaming services leading the way as households were kept at home for long periods under COVID-19 restrictions.

The CMA is also probing Sony’s US$430 million acquisition of artist and label services provider AWAL, which it last month said “could reduce competition in the industry, potentially worsening the deals on the table for many music artists in the UK, and leading to less innovation across the industry” due to Sony’s domination of the British industry alongside Universal and Warner.