Competition Law Concerns in Spotify’s Royalty Plans

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Key Events in Music Business Last Week

CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke provide a review of the key events in the music industry from the past week. This edition covers competition law expert (and musician and label owner) Amelia Fletcher’s letter to Spotify boss Daniel Ek regarding the streaming service’s proposed two-tier royalty system, as well as the battle between two stream-ripping platforms over rickrolling takedown notices.

Spotify’s Two-Tier Payment System

Competition law expert Amelia Fletcher has expressed strong concerns about Spotify’s plan to introduce a threshold below which tracks will not receive any royalties when they are streamed. She argues that this two-tier payment system is “discriminatory and exploitative,” highlighting the potential negative impact on artists and their earnings.

Stream-Ripper Court Battle

Y2Mate, a stream-ripping platform, recently obtained a court order compelling Google to disclose information about who has been issuing copyright takedown notices against its website. The platform suspects that a competitor has been intentionally issuing takedowns to harm its Google ranking, sparking a legal battle in the world of online music piracy.

Music Industry’s Economic Impact

UK Music’s annual report emphasizes the substantial economic impact of the British music industry, which contributed £6.7 billion to the UK economy last year. Additionally, the report reveals that music exports topped £4 billion, underscoring the global reach and influence of the UK music sector.

Competition Law Expert’s Letter to Daniel Ek

Amelia Fletcher, a competition policy professor and co-founder of independent label Skep Wax Records, has sent a letter to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek expressing her reservations about the proposed two-tier payment system. In her letter, she provides a critical perspective on the potential implications for artists and the overall music industry.

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This Is Music Reveals Music Industry Delivers £4bn Exports Boost To UK Economy

UK Music’s annual economic report, This Is Music 2023, highlights the substantial economic contribution of the UK music industry. The report showcases the industry’s role in delivering a £4 billion exports boost to the UK economy, underscoring its significance on a global scale.


In conclusion, the recent developments in the music industry, including Spotify’s proposed payment system and the legal battle between stream-ripping platforms, reflect the ongoing challenges and complexities within the evolving landscape of digital music consumption and copyright protection.

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