IMPALA welcomes call from European Parliamentarians to close the value gap

Brussels, 21 June 2016
58 MEPs have signed a letter addressed to President Juncker calling on the European Commission to clarify the status of online services providing access to creative works.

Helen Smith, IMPALA’s Executive Chair, welcomed the news, commenting: “Europe’s parliamentarians recognise the true value of Europe’s cultural and creative sectors, and see that there is a problem when so many works are being accessed on certain platforms while so little money is returning to creators.”

This is especially true in music. While music is available everywhere and listened to more than ever before, a lot of the value never finds its way back to artists and those investing in creation. The reason is simple: some online services actively distributing music are under-licensed or not licensed at all.

Helen Smith added: “There is clear evidence that something is wrong. Just recently Merlin, the global licensing agency for thousands of independents, revealed that while Spotify has 10% of YouTube’s music audience it generates 10 times more revenue to Merlin’s members.” 

Smith concluded: “This letter from Europe’s parliamentarians underlines the political importance of  addressing this issue. Tackling the transfer of value is essential not only for musicians, but for the entire value chain, and of course ultimately for the fans themselves. The Commission has already committed to fixing this problem which is a source of friction and inefficiency in the licensing market. It is a key priority for the EU’s copyright review and wlook forward to continue working together with both the Parliament and the Commission.” 

About IMPALA
IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs (for more information, see the features of independents). IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector.