IMPALA WELCOMES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REPORT ON MUSIC STREAMING
Brussels, 17 January 2024
IMPALA, the European association of independent music companies, welcomes the adoption today by the European Parliament of MEP Iban García del Blanco’s report on “cultural diversity and the conditions for authors in the European music streaming market.”
IMPALA’s Executive Chair Helen Smith said: “The adoption of this report comes at a decisive time for the music sector, as industry discussions are ongoing on the way forward for streaming. The report tackles essential questions for our community and its overall call for a fairer and more sustainable music streaming ecosystem shares the same goals as IMPALA’s own 10-point plan to reform streaming.”
IMPALA particularly welcomes the European Parliament’s call on the European Commission to assess concentration levels in the music sector, to ensure investment in new European talent and music, to boost small players, as well as the commitment to address streaming fraud and payola-like initiatives which undermine the music streaming economy.
On the question of remuneration and addressing imbalances in the market, Helen Smith commented: “Streaming reform to maximise revenues for artists is one of IMPALA’s top priorities. The idea that artists should receive a fair contemporary digital rate reflects the independent sector commitment made almost ten years ago with the Fair Digital Deals Declaration and it is also a key recommendation in IMPALA’s streaming plan. Modern digital rates, together with increased subscription prices and fairer allocation of revenues, are the way forward, not so-called new “equitable remuneration” rights which some parts of the sector are calling for that we consider would reduce capital for investment in new artists and certainly not result in greater pay-outs to artists.”
The Brussels-based organisation, representing close to 6,000 music companies across 32 European markets, also takes note of the European Parliament’s calls for action to guarantee the visibility and accessibility of European works, and its support for the ethical and transparent use of AI, two very important topics in a fast-changing music landscape.
Addressing the report’s ask for the music sector to work together to assess and reduce the carbon footprint of digital music, Helen Smith said: “When it comes to mapping and reducing the independent sector’s carbon footprint, IMPALA has taken a head-start with its sustainability programme, climate charter and carbon calculator. While digital distribution doesn’t fall within our members’ scope of responsibility, it is a vital part of our industry and we encourage all services to do as much as possible and account transparently on how they handle their emissions.”
Helen Smith concluded: “We are also in full support of the European Parliament’s call on the European Commission to work on an industrial strategy for music and to set up a European music observatory. This is important to ensure a joined up approach between different policy areas. Tackling market concentration is just one example covered in the report. Other issues not linked to the digital market and therefore not included in the report include our repeated requests for the EC to find a solution to the RAAP case within the current legislature. For three and a half years the EC had failed to address the anomalous situation in Europe regarding performance and broadcast rights, which would cost the European sector 125m euros a year. We urge the parliament to push the EC to address this urgently. An industrial policy approach would ensure these issues are dealt with as priorities.”
IMPALA was established in 2000 and now represents nearly 6000 independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are small, micro and medium businesses and self-releasing artists. Known as the independents, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector sustainably, return more value to artists, promote diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access, inspire change, and increase access to finance. IMPALA works on a range of key issues for its members, runs various award schemes and has a programme aimed at businesses who want to develop a strategic relationship with the independent sector – Friends of IMPALA.
IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association
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