Recent speculation about how much money major labels are earning in ‘one-off’ licensing payments from companies like ByteDance, Twitch and Facebook is, as we suspected, rousing a rumpus in the British music industry.
MMF boss Annabella Coldrick has gone on the attack in a blog post. “Despite the recorded market share of the three major labels falling to 56.9%, when it comes to licensing negotiations it appears they continue to extract unfeasibly large slices of licensing revenues in the form of these upfront unattributable payments – typically with little transparency about the sums involved, and how or if any of the revenues will be allocated to artists,” she wrote.
“Such practices might reflect the world as it was ten years ago, when major record labels wielded greater influence and artists had fewer options in distributing and financing their music – however, they do not reflect the world now. The majors can not continue having their cake and eating it.”
Coldrick is keen for the UK’s competition regulator the CMA to look at the issue in its upcoming market study of music streaming.