BMG has issued a reaction to the DCMS Committee report on the economics of streaming.
With the major labels not commenting directly so far - trade bodies including the BPI speak on their behalf - BMG is the biggest recorded music company to respond to the MPs’ call for a “complete reset” of streaming.
“We congratulate the DCMS committee on the most significant inquiry into the British music industry since their predecessor committee investigated CD pricing nearly 30 years ago,” said a statement from BMG. “The MPs’ searing analysis reflects our own view that the music industry desperately needs to modernise and recognise that the purpose of the music business is to serve artists and songwriters rather than simply to extract value from them.
“The anger felt by artists and songwriters is not just a UK phenomenon. It is being felt worldwide. And it is time for the industry to respond. The world has changed and, as in so many areas, exploitative behaviour is no longer acceptable.”
BMG has already made significant changes to contracts to benefit both artists and songwriters. It was also ahead of Sony Music in writing off unrecouped balances to help legacy acts earn money from streaming.
CEO Hartwig Masuch praised the artists who recently backed the #Broken Record campaign, with big names urging the government to “fix streaming”.
Although it’s the fourth biggest company by UK market share, BMG did not have an executive appear at the DCMS Committee hearings. BMG did submit written evidence.
While the BPI has warned the government to avoid “unintended consequences” from the report, BMG has today welcomed the findings of the committee.
“The committee has called for regulatory action,” said the company. “We hope that will not be necessary, but executives and shareholders alike need to accept that they cannot continue as before. It is a privilege to work in music. That privilege should not be abused.
“BMG is fortunate in having been able to start from scratch in 2008. We were able to design out many historic practices from the outset. We have tackled several more since then. We are certainly not perfect but we are committed to make things better. We stand ready to work with like minds to ensure the music industry works for the people who actually make the music.”