MPs: Nobody should fear speaking to our music streaming inquiry

MPs say some people fear that speaking to its music streaming inquiry will have repercussions.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee is examining the impact of streaming giants on the music industry.

The Musicians’ Union and Ivors Academy have called streaming royalties “woefully insufficient”.

MPs have issued a statement warning that they will take a “very dim view if we had any evidence of anyone interfering with witnesses” to one of its inquiries.

The DCMS inquiry is looking at the business models operated by platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play.

Committee chair Julian Knight said: “We have been told by many different sources that some of the people interested in speaking to us have become reluctant to do so because they fear action may be taken against them if they speak in public.

“I would like to say that we would take a very dim view if we had any evidence of anyone interfering with witnesses to one of our inquiries.”

He warned: “No-one should suffer any detriment for speaking to a parliamentary committee and anyone deliberately causing harm to one of our witnesses would be in danger of being in contempt of this House.

“This committee will brook no such interference and will not hesitate to name and shame anyone proven to be involved in such activity.”

He said anyone wanting to speak about the issue “should get in touch with the committee and will be treated in confidence”.

Elbow’s Guy Garvey
Elbow’s Guy Garvey has already spoken to the committee (Ian West/PA)

The statement comes after Elbow frontman Guy Garvey warned the current streaming system threatens the future of music in the UK.

He told the committee that “tomorrow’s music” was at risk of being lost because many artists were unable to pay their rent or living costs.

Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien said unfairness within the music industry had only worsened with the advent of streaming technology.

The committee says music streaming in the UK brings in more than £1 billion in revenue but that artists can be paid as little as 13% of the income generated.

The committee’s inquiry is taking evidence until  December 11.

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