UK to survey musicians on streaming music recommendations


The British government is canvassing musicians’ views on algorithmic music recommendations. The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI), which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is running the survey.

The online questionnaire has launched here. Questions include asking musicians whether they feel streaming recommendations have helped people to discover their music; whether they feel they have enough information from the streaming services on how those recommendations work; and whether they have changed the way they make music to “increase the likelihood of it being recommended”.

The survey is also gathering data on whether musicians have ever been asked to pay for playlist placement – and if they took up the offer, whether it worked – and whether they are worried about “bias in recommendation algorithms leading to tracks from certain artists, or certain labels, being prioritised over other creators”.

There is a hint of further studies into this issue. musicians are asked whether they would be up for “providing my data to a data intermediary in order to facilitate research into bias”.

Earlier in the day, we noticed that the CDEI had published the privacy policy for the upcoming study offering some more details on its scope. Such a study was one of the recommendations made by last year’s DCMS streaming economics inquiry, which the government then agreed would be a good idea.

Written by: Stuart Dredge