Spotify, Deezer & SoundCloud Team Up to Form Digital Lobbying Group

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Some of the biggest players in the digital music space have joined forces to launch a lobbying group that will showcase and promote the success of European streaming and music services to policy makers.

Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud are among the companies that have put their rivalries aside to form the Digital Music Europe (DME) alliance. Other backers include 7digital, France’s Qobuz and market intelligence platform Soundcharts.

"For a decade, European digital music companies have led the transformation of the music industry globally," said Hans-Holger Albrecht, president of digital music Europe and CEO of Deezer, announcing the launch.

Albrecht said that the formation of Digital Music Europe would "highlight European leadership in this sector, inspire other European entrepreneurs and create a unique voice with policy-makers."

Spotify’s director of EU regulatory affairs Olivia Regnier said that a key mission for the alliance would be to "share the experience and vision of its members to contribute to policy debates shaping Europe’s Digital Single Market."

"We believe that policy-makers have a key role to play to support the growth of the entire music sector and enable more innovation in Europe," stated Regnier, who takes up the role of DME chair.

The launch of the Brussels-based lobbying group comes at a pivotal time for digital music companies in Europe, with the European Commission currently exploring a number of proposals relating to modernizing copyright legislation and cross border access as part of its plans to create a Digital Single Market (DSM).

Earlier this year, policy makers agreed new rules that will enable Europeans to access the same streaming and online entertainment services that they do at home when travelling within the EU. Once formally adopted, the regulations will come into force early next year.

Last September also saw the EC unveil new draft proposals around its revised copyright framework that will require user-generated services like YouTube to pay more to rights holders and take tougher measures to prevent the illegal distribution of music and video content on their platforms. "Services will also need to be more transparent towards right holders on the measures used and their efficiency," stated the EC at the time.

Those draft proposals are currently being debated by the European Parliament and Council. 

The last time that the European Union radically overhauled its copyright laws was in 2001, long before Spotify, SoundCloud and -- at the heart of the matter for many copyright stakeholders -- YouTube existed. 

A press release for Digital Music Europe states that the alliance will work with European policy-makers "to create a legislative and regulatory framework that supports the growth of digital music, and brings benefits to both artists and consumers."