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UK music industry responds to election result

By | Published on Friday 9 June 2017

Houses Of Parliament

So, a hung parliament pretty much equally split between left leaners and right leaners as we head into the Brexit negotiations and a fundamental rewrite of the British constitution. What fun hey? Strong and stable, strong and stable.

Much is being made about the importance of younger voters in yesterday’s UK General Election, and movements like the Grime 4 Corbyn campaign all played a role in getting that demographic out to vote. Will they stay engaged in the complex political shenanigans ahead, and what can the grime and wider music community do to encourage them to do so?

These will all be topics for debate at the ‘The Political Artist In The Social Media Age’ conversation that CMU is presenting as part of M.I.A.’s Meltdown festival at the Royal Festival Hall tomorrow. The full line ups for all three discussions are now online – we look at the power of sound at 1pm, music and politics and 2.30pm, and the impact of AI and big data on music consumption and music making at 4pm. Admission is free, info here.

But for now, back to the bloody election, and the UK music industry has already responded to the big result, with the bosses of record industry trade body BPI, the Music Managers Forum and cross-sector organisation UK Music having all commented.

The recently appointed CEO of UK Music, Michael Dugher, said: “UK Music congratulates all those elected at the General Election. Clearly the dust is settling and the situation will continue to unfold in the coming days, so we await developments”.

“But over the coming weeks there will be many discussions about the future direction the country will take. It is paramount that the interests of the music industry are fully considered in those conversations and we look forward to engaging positively and working closely with the new parliament and the next government”.

He concluded: “The political parties each made welcome commitments to build on the successes of creative industries, and music in particular, throughout the election campaign. We will be holding their feet to the fire to ensure that they deliver on those pledges. Brexit is clearly the biggest issue facing the country – and our industry – and we will ensure that the interests of our members across the music industry are protected”.

Meanwhile BPI chief Geoff Taylor said: “The General Election result creates a political landscape that is considerably more complex. Assuming that the Conservatives form an administration, they will be under considerable parliamentary pressure to adopt a more nuanced position in the Brexit negotiations, which many in business will welcome. However, greater uncertainty over an extended period, with the possibility of a further election before the full parliamentary term, is unlikely to be helpful”.

He continued: “In terms of priorities for music, our two main goals for the incoming government are simple – to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to invest in music, and to support our industry internationally as it looks to keep growing British music exports. Whatever the exact shape of the new administration, as a priority it should immediately support the EU Commission proposals to require user-generated content platforms to pay fairly for the music they use to build their businesses”.

“To ensure future growth of the UK creative economy” Taylor added, staying focused on the web giants, “it should require online intermediaries to take more responsibility to prevent users accessing harmful or illegal content. Moreover, any new administration needs to encourage more investment into the UK – and by extending to the recorded music sector the creative tax credits that film, TV and games have benefitted from for some time we will make the UK the best place to make music”.

And finally: “British music punches above its weight on the world stage, but, as streaming increasingly promotes a global market, our artists and labels face stronger competition than ever from overseas. The government must make creative businesses a priority and ensure a Brexit deal that benefits creative businesses like music – making sure that UK artists can tour freely in EU markets and that UK businesses can access the best talent. The UK should also take the opportunity to boost exports by promoting strong IP protection”.

And finally, Annabella Coldrick, CEO of MMF, said: “Whatever follows on from the hung parliament and potential minority government, one thing we can take comfort from is that the Conservatives and Labour were very specific in their manifesto commitments to ensure that content creators are appropriately rewarded for the content they make available online”.

She went on: ” That’s the MMF’s priority too, and along with other creator representative bodies we will be re-doubling our lobbying efforts with the UK government to tackle the lack of transparency in the digital marketplace. At the same time as addressing the value gap, the industry must change the NDA culture that denies artists, songwriters, composers and musicians not just clarity, but fair digital remuneration”.

Finally, Coldrick turned to live music, and noted that: “Following the successful FanFair campaign, both parties have publicly committed to ensure the revised law on ticket touting is now properly enforced and we look forward to working with the new government and the Competition And Markets Authority to make sure this happens. With the help of politicians it is imperative that we fix these fundamentals for both the live and recorded business, restoring the connection from audience to artist, to properly reward the creative talent on whose shoulders our entire business sits”.