The minister of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM), Omar Paganini, confirmed that the government is closely monitoring the possibility that the streaming music platform, Spotify, abandon Uruguay for discrepancies with articles of the Bill of Accountability; and what do you expect him to Parliament reach a satisfactory solution for all parties involved.
Spotify It is one of the services that is already part of the daily life of thousands of Uruguayans, but that could change in the short term, in the event that the Rendición de Cuentas achieves its approval in the Senate without substantial modifications; at least with regard to the articles 284 and 285 of Law No. 9,739, which regulates copyright in Uruguay.
The problem is that the Swedish streaming music company maintains that the modifications proposed to these articles in the budget project make its business “unfeasible”. This was stated in a letter sent to the Minister of Education and Culture (MEC), Pablo da Silveira, last July 19.
Asked about it at a press conference, Paganini clarified that the issue is mostly in the hands of the MEC —since he originally proposed the articles in question, although his intention was to deal with them outside of Accountability—, but that “from the side of the government” are “concerned about balance.” “We are concerned that the platforms that we all use in some way work quietly in our country”, affirmed the Minister of Industry.
In this sense, the head of MIEM advocated that the Senate find a way to “agree” on this matter. “It’s a subject worth discussing in Parliament,” he said.
What is Spotify’s argument?
According to Spotify, the modifications proposed in the Accountability for the law that regulates copyright in Uruguay would imply an additional payment to what the company already provides, something that “would severely affect the ability to invest and provide services at reasonable prices for consumers.” On the other hand, they remarked that, despite the great popularity of the platform, its gross margins are lower than traditional record stores or radio stations.
In this sense, they assured that “with that historically low margin” they must cover the business operating costsincluding promoting local and global repertoire, data portals and other tools for artists and their teams to develop new audiences on and off our platform, developing personalized recommendations for fans, and investing in your music team first level.
On the other hand, since Spotify highlighted the importance of their company in terms of music growth in Uruguay. “We have played a fundamental role in reversing the decline of the music industry, which was plagued by piracy. Thanks to streaming, the music industry in Uruguay grew by 20% last year alone, to the benefit of artists, composers and those who support them,” the letter explained.