The EU argues that music streaming platforms must pay artists more.
The European Parliament aims to ensure that performers in the music streaming industry are paid and promoted fairly compared to major record labels and popular artists.
The EU has proposed significant changes within the music streaming industry to promote smaller artists and ensure that underpaid performers are adequately compensated.
A resolution addressing concerns about inadequate royalties for artists and distorted recommendation algorithms was adopted by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Wednesday, highlighting that currently there are no applicable EU rules for music streaming services, despite them being the most popular way to consume audio.
The proposal is formulated to ensure that European musical works are accessible and not overshadowed by the "overwhelming quantity" of content continuously added to streaming platforms like Spotify. MEPs have also called for a review of the outdated "pre-digital" royalty rates, noting that some schemes force performers to accept minimal or no earnings in exchange for greater visibility. Consideration is being given to imposing quotas for European musical works to promote artists in the EU.
Streaming companies are also urged to declare whether artificial intelligence has been used to create songs, address "deepfake" music that imitates human artists without their permission, and be transparent about recommendation algorithms to prevent major record labels and popular artists from being disproportionately favored – and thus better compensated – compared to smaller players in the industry.
"The Parliament voices the concerns of European creators, who are at the heart of the music streaming market," said rapporteur Ibán García del Blanco in the EU press release.
"Cultural diversity and ensuring that authors are recognized and fairly paid have always been our priorities; that is why we call for rules that ensure that the algorithms and recommendation tools used by music streaming services are transparent, as is their use of AI tools, placing European authors at the center."