Spotify, the market-leading streaming music company, leads a lineup of new media companies on the formation of a pan-European lobby body for digital services.
The new alliance, Digital Music Europe was presented Wednesday with a mission to “serve as a resource for policy-makers, media and the digital music industry” and to “advocate for policies that shape a favourable business environment for digital music.”
Also on board at inauguration are streaming businesses Deezer, SoundCloud and Qobuz, long-standing British-based B2B company 7digital and analytics startup Soundcharts.
Europe’s wider music community has no shortage of peak bodies to fight skirmishes on their behalf and share knowledge, from Impala and WIN, to the IFPI and the individual trade associations dotted across the continent. But as the digital industry booms, the key players’ representative needs have evolved.
“For a decade, European digital music companies have led the transformation of the music industry globally. Bringing these companies together to create DME is a great opportunity to highlight European leadership in this sector, inspire other European entrepreneurs and create a unique voice with policy-makers,” says Hans-Holger Albrecht, President of the Brussels-based DME and CEO of Deezer.
“DME is eager to share the experience and vision of its members to contribute to policy debates shaping Europe’s Digital Single Market. We believe that policy-makers have a key role to play to support the growth of the entire music sector and enable more innovation in Europe,“ says Olivia Regnier, former IFPI exec and now chair of DME and Director of EU Regulatory Affairs at Spotify.
Citing data published in the IFPI’s Global Music Report, the DME insists its members need a new voice.
The recorded music market grew by 4% in Europe last year, the fastest rate of growth in two decades, with streaming the engine room of growth. Global recorded music revenues were up by 5.9 percent to US$15.7 billion in 2016 with streaming accounting for around US$4 billion, up 60.4 percent year-on-year. Prognosticators expect those figures to soar. Analysts from Goldman Sachs recently forecast global revenues will grow to US$41 billion in 2030 with streaming generating US$28 billion by that time, a 16% rise on its previous estimates.
At launch, DME pledges to work with policy-makers and supporters of music
The DME aims to “create a legislative and regulatory framework that supports the growth of digital music, and brings benefits to both artists and consumers.” Policy debates on copyright, geo-blocking, online platforms, e-privacy, data transfers, digital contracts and taxation are already on the go.
In the U.S., the online music landscape is served by the Digital Media Association, which promises to promote, defend and represent its members in Congress, the courts, the media and internationally.
The European online entertainment space is already served by the European Digital Media Assn (EDiMA), which was established at the dawn of e-commerce and whose members today include Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, almost certainly the online platforms that form part of DME’s agenda.
EDiMA’s makeup was a vastly different one in the early 2000s when its members were drawn heavily from the emerging digital music space, from then-prominent brands like Vitaminic, Music Choice and Tiscali Music.