16 March 2022

On 16 March, we organised a debate, hosted by MEP Sabine Verheyen, to discuss the the challenges and opportunities for policymakers in the area of Music digital consumption trends. The MEP was joined by the following guest speakers:

David Price, Director of Insight and Analysis, IFPI
Severin Merad, Music Operations Manager - Partnership, artist and label relation, Huawei
Antoine Monin, Managing Director, Spotify France and Benelux

Music digital consumption trends

Sabine Verheyen MEP kicked off the discussion by acknowledging that culture is an essential element for our European identity and music holds a unique, cohesive power and brings us closer together, promoting intercultural dialogue and stimulating cultural tourism. Moreover, the creative sector and music are essential for the European economy, employing more than 10 million people throughout Europe and generating 4.2% of EU GDP. Throughout the covid-19 crisis, MEP Verheyen added, music helped us stay positive and helped become more emotionally resilient and with mental well-being.

David Price presented the IPFPI Music Consumer Study, which is conducted yearly over 20 countries. One of the finding emphasized by Mr Price was the diversity of availability of music, the diversity of ways in which people can engage with, listen to and enjoy music. Audio streaming is now a very big part of people’s music lives, YouTube remains a very big part of people’s lives and a new category introduced in 2021: short form video. Mr. Price added that radio remains very important for people’s music lives as does purchase music (CDs, vinyl, digital downloads etc.), but essentially 2/3 of all music listening in the EU is done via streaming.

The music landscape across Europe and the globe is very rich and diverse and we see great amounts of engagement with different music types. People appreciate all the different ways in which they can engage with music. In conclusion, David Price stated that at policy level, the strong copyright framework that we have in Europe and the changes we’ve seen over the last few years really underpinning a lot of those positive developments.

Severin Merad presented Huawei’s new music streaming service, which has the ambition to make an impact and create value for artists, labels, and content producers in the music industry. This new streaming service would also imply the creation of a wealth creator service for the industry with a strong ecosystem already in place: differences in artists promotion but also investment as co-marketing campaigns for different albums or singles.

Antoine Monin shared his belief that now is a very exciting era to see what music streaming is bringing to the whole music ecosystem. According to him, it is now clear that streaming creates new value for artists and rights holders and has really put the music market back on a strong growth trajectory. Revenues from streaming in France have multiplied by five in ten years and they now represent 70% of recorded music revenues. It not only generated growing revenues for artists and right holders, but it is also driving growth for other revenues that help artists make a living: live ticket sales, merchandise etc. Nowadays, artists have the option to either stay independent or choose different levels of collaborations and support with many distributors or major labels. The music market economy is more open now and diverse, it offers more opportunities for artists across the globe, but not everything is perfect: “only a few markets have reached maturity in the streaming economy and while there is still tremendous growth to build, that will eventually benefit creators,w e are only at the beginning of the music streaming revolution”, Mr. Monin concluded.

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