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Press Release: ECSA welcomes new German study highlighting the need to fix music streaming and make it sustainable for music creators and cultural diversity.

Today, a study commissioned by GEMA from the Goldmedia consulting and research group, provides the first comprehensive analysis of the German music streaming market. The results are crystal clear and confirm the main findings of the report on the Economics of music streaming published by the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in July 2021: streaming is booming but music creators are far from getting a fair share from music streaming revenues. The research study shows that, at a total share of 22.4 % of the net turnover, music creators (authors and musicians) receive a lot less than streaming services (30 %) and labels (42.4 %).

This research analysis further demonstrates that composers and songwriters, who are at the source of all music, are the fifth wheel on the wagon for revenue distribution, with less than 10 % of the revenues generated by streaming. It also shows that playlists and music recommendations have a considerable impact on the success of a song and their dynamics should become much more transparent to music creators. Last but not least, this study confirms that the current distribution of revenues per stream tend to favour dominant and commercially successful titles, with a negative impact on musical niches and cultural diversity.

Our Alliance and its members have denounced for a long time the extremely low level of remuneration from music streaming, largely explained by the conflicts of interests between the recording and publishing arms within the main music majors. ECSA therefore welcomes this study which highlights once again the need to fix streaming to make it sustainable for music creators and cultural diversity.

The music industry and policy makers must look at the majors’ dominance in the streaming market, and act now to strengthen the value of songs, evaluate and reform the per stream revenues model and put transparency at the cornerstone of those discussions. There is no more time to lose to engage on this key debate about nothing else than the future of music.

Helienne Lindvall, ECSA President said:

"The music industry is like an inverted pyramid, where the song is at the bottom. The whole industry – including record companies, music streaming platforms and touring businesses – is reliant on and wouldn’t even exist without great songs. They are the fuel and the engine that keeps the whole industry running, yet those who create those songs receive the smallest share of the revenue those songs generate. This study puts this reality into context, confirming that the current state of affairs is unsustainable if we want a thriving and diverse music scene for the future. We urge legislators to listen to us songwriters and composers, and work with us to create a fairer more prosperous industry."