IFPI initial comment on the reflection paper on "Creative Content in a European Digital Single Market: Challenges for the Future"
23rd October 2009
The international music industry today commented on the "Reflection Document" on Creative Content issued by the European Commission. The initiative deals with a large number of issues that it claims are contributing to the slow pace of development in the European digital music business. However it fails to focus any attention whatsoever on the most central issue facing the industry: digital piracy. Legal services cannot succeed in the face of unfair competition from piracy. Any policy initiative that overlooks this will only ever address the margins and not the core of the problems affecting the sector.
Consumer choice for music in Europe has been transformed in the last few years. Music companies in Europe have licensed more than 10 million tracks, which are available from over 250 unique legal music services. Consumers in Europe can access and pay for music in diverse ways - from buying tracks a-la-carte from a range of download stores, to using subscription services and listening to music streaming services. The change has accelerated in the past 12 months in particular. In 2009, streaming services that are free-to-consumer and funded by advertising, such as Spotify, We7 and Deezer, have helped draw young consumers used to accessing music from free unauthorised sites. Other new services continue to emerge offering choice and ease of use. If the Commission truly wants to develop a thriving market in legal digital services then it must help these services by dealing with the piracy problem in Europe to enable these services to thrive.
This is by no means only an issue for the music sector: other creative industries, including films, book publishing and TV, are facing exactly the same challenge, the only difference being the slower pace of their exposure to mass illegal file-sharing on P2P networks.
IFPI will work with the Commission in the consultation period to ensure that this vital missing piece of the puzzle is added.
For further information contact:
Alex Jacob, IFPI London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7940 or Email: email@example.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7935 (Press Office)