The European Union has proposed comprehensive changes aimed at promoting smaller artists and ensuring fair compensation for underpaid performers on music streaming apps, according to The Verge. This initiative, adopted by the European Parliament members (MEPs) on Wednesday, addresses the growing concerns over inadequate streaming royalties and biased recommendation algorithms prevalent in the industry.
The resolution comes in the wake of recognition that no current EU rules specifically govern music streaming services, despite their status as the most popular medium for audio consumption. The proposed changes are designed to make European musical works more accessible and prevent them from being overshadowed by the vast amount of content continuously added to platforms like Spotify.
One of the key aspects of the proposition is the revision of outdated “pre-digital” royalty rates. These rates often compel performers to accept minimal or no revenue in exchange for greater exposure. The MEPs are also considering imposing quotas for European musical works, which would aid in promoting EU artists.
The EU resolution urges music streaming companies to be transparent about their use of AI in creating tracks and to address the issue of “deepfake” music that imitates human artists without consent. Additionally, it calls for clarity regarding recommendation algorithms to prevent major record labels and popular artists from being disproportionately favored over smaller industry players.
A call for legislative action
EU rapporteur Ibán García del Blanco emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “The Parliament is giving voice to the concerns of European creators, who are at the heart of the music streaming market. Cultural diversity and ensuring that authors are credited and fairly paid has always been our priority; this is why we ask for rules that ensure algorithms and recommendation tools used by music streaming services are transparent as well as in their use of AI tools, placing European authors at the centre.”
While the resolution has been overwhelmingly accepted by MEPs, it remains nonlegislative. It serves as a call for the European Commission to recognize these issues and initiate legislation to address them. However, any potential legislative changes could take several years to implement, even if the appeal is successful.