Press release / 17 January 2024

Tobias Holzmüller, CEO: “The streaming economy must change”

More fairness, transparency and diversity in the music streaming market: These are the demands of the European Parliament stated in the resolution adopted on Wednesday. In it, Members of the European Parliament focus on challenges and imbalances on the European market for music streaming and suggest solutions at EU level to improve the situation for the creators. GEMA welcomed the initiative of the European Parliament and demanded a swift implementation of the proposed measures.

Streaming has changed the global music market fundamentally. Yet, despite its strong growth over the last few years, many creators do not adequately participate in the success of music streaming. Against this background, a large majority of the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Wednesday in which the Members speak up for a “fair and sustainable ecosystem for music streaming” which promotes cultural diversity and enables creators to receive a “fairer remuneration”. 

„We must achieve a fair balance which, in particular, significantly improves the situation of authors in the music streaming market." – Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA CEO

GEMA CEO, Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, welcomed the initiative of the European Parliament: “The streaming economy must change. This is the signal that the European Parliament is sending out. We must achieve a fair balance which, in particular, significantly improves the situation of authors in the music streaming market.  The adopted resolution shows possible solutions how this could be done at EU level. A determining factor will be that the proposals must be tackled and implemented swiftly. Now, the ball is in the court of the European Commission.”

„With its clear positioning for more fairness, transparency and diversity in the music streaming market the European Parliament bolsters the authors."– Dr. Ralf Weigand, chairman of the GEMA supervisory board

Dr. Ralf Weigand, GEMA Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said: “With its clear positioning for more fairness, transparency and diversity in the music streaming market the European Parliament bolsters the authors. Our thanks goes to all Members of the European Parliament who supported this directional resolution. We are looking forward to accompanying the realisation of the measures in a constructive manner.”

With the resolution, the European Parliament takes up several aspects which had already been highlighted by the streaming study commissioned by GEMA in 2022. Holzmüller rated the proposals of how to strengthen cultural diversity in streaming platforms positively: “In order to ensure a long-term equality of opportunity and diversity in streaming, we need more transparency when it comes to the algorithms used as well as new instruments with which cultural niches and local repertoire can be promoted in a targeted manner, and be strengthened in their visibility and discoverability. In light of the rapid increase in AI-generated content, such instruments will become even more important in future.” 

„Let us hope that this document which is well worth reading gets a top spot in the to-do-list of the new EU Commission.” “ – Matthias Hornschuh, member of the GEMA supervisory board, about the music streaming report of the eu parliament

Matthias Hornschuh, member of the GEMA Supervisory Board, said: “The unequivocal adoption of the pleasantly unambiguous music streaming report by the European Parliament is proof that after years of providing information and education, comprehension sets in: In a highly complex and structurally dysfunctional market like the one for music, the protection for individuals working as creators or artists lies in their collectives and the legislative regulation of the framework conditions. Let us hope that this document which is well worth reading gets a top spot in the to-do-list of the new EU Commission.” 

The debate about reforms in music streaming continues within the music business: Most recently, streaming services and labels had published their own proposals on the new distribution models. Tobias Holzmüller added: “The realisation that something must change in music streaming has increasingly sunk in with all parties involved. At the same time, the stakeholders must be aware of their responsibility vis-à-vis the creators. Reforms must not lead to results where newcomers and cultural niches are left behind and the structural imbalance further solidifies to the detriment of the authors’ side. What’s clear for us is: Sustainable and permanently viable solutions can only be developed in a transparent manner and in a dialogue with all parties involved, including the creators.  This is why we expressly support the call by the European Parliament for a structured dialogue within the music sector to further deepen the discussion launched by the European Parliament about the challenges in music streaming. The tabled proposals form a fabulous foundation for this.”

In Germany, GEMA represents the copyright of more than 90,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers), and more than two million copyright owners from all over the world. It is one of the largest societies for creators of musical works in the world.

Press photos for download

Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA CEO (c. Sebastian Linder)
Dr. Ralf Weigand, chairman of the GEMA supervisory board (c. Florian Jaenicke)
Matthias Hornschuh, member of the GEMA supervisory board  (c. Sebastian Linder)

 

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