Among various competition inquiries touching on the music industry, the European Commission’s investigation of consumer Internet of Things related products and services has been somewhat under the radar. It’s important though, and the inquiry’s preliminary report has some concerns that are very relevant to our industry.
Smart speakers and voice assistants loom large: for example in concerns about “the position of voice assistants and smart device operating systems as intermediaries between users, on one side, and smart devices or consumer IoT services on the other side”.
To pluck an example out of the air… music streaming services operating on devices and through voice assistants built and controlled by the owners of rival music streaming services. “Apple, Amazon and Google seem, generally, to set their own music services as default on their smart speakers,” is one note in the report. The inquiry will now go into a new period of public consultation.
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