Most of the world’s biggest recorded-music markets have now published mid-year sales figures and the uncertainty over when combined global trade revenue from the sale of physical and digital recorded-music and income from music access services will return to growth remains ever-present. Subscription services are continuing to experience gains in most developed markets, but download sales have leveled off in some countries and are falling in others. Physical formats are on a terminal decline and so the recorded-music sector must play a waiting game to see if 2014 will be the year that the long haul back to growth begins. Continue reading
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors has revealed which companies have benefited most from the breakup of EMI. UMG increased its dominance of the recorded-music sector in 2013, while WMG closed the gap on the second-largest company, SME. Sony/ATV is the clear leader in terms of corporate publishing control.
The last two years have seen significant consolidation in the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors, after the breakup of EMI Music Group and the subsequent sales of EMI’s record and publishing divisions. Although UMG’s acquisition of EMI Recorded Music and the purchase of EMI Music Publishing by a Sony-led consortium received the various national and regional regulatory seals of approval in 2012, enforced divestments meant that the consolidation process was completed only last year. The result is a music industry dominated by three corporate groups: UMG has extended its market-share lead in terms of revenues from recorded-music sales, and Sony/ATV is the clear music-publishing leader.
Prior to the latest round of consolidation, UMG was the biggest recorded-music company in the world. The addition of the EMI assets in October 2012 boosted the company’s market share that year, but 2013 was the first full year the acquired EMI companies were included in UMG’s results. However, given that divestments were completed only in 2013, market-share figures for 2014 will be the first to truly reflect the new recorded-music landscape. Continue reading
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors has revealed how much Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony have benefited in market-share terms from the breakup of EMI and the consolidation of the two music-industry sectors. UMG cemented its position as the largest recorded-music company last year, and Sony is now the clear leader in terms of corporate publishing control. Continue reading
In the past 20 years or so, all sectors of the music industry have been through massive change. Format transitions, company consolidation and greater scrutiny of copyright and licensing have changed the industry beyond all recognition. But have the changes made for industry improvements, and more important, have the main players learned from their mistakes? The recent discovery of the first issues of Music & Copyright has allowed for a unique look at just how much certain things have changed, and how much they haven’t.
The newsletter’s 20-year anniversary came and went in September, but thanks to a long-standing subscriber, copies of the first 24 issues published have been found and make for interesting reading. Despite containing names that have either long since left the music industry or been swallowed up as part of industry consolidation, the headlines for a number of news stories resonate closely with happenings today. Continue reading
Earlier today the European Commission said yes to Vivendi/UMG’s bid to buy EMI Recorded Music. The full Commission press statement is here . Is anyone surprised at the outcome? Our guess is no. If the Commission didn’t want the deal to go through it would have said so months ago.
In the release there are some big name artists that are part of the Parlaphone sell-off (Coldplay, David Guetta, Tinie Tempah). The statement issued earlier today by the Association of Independent Music’s Chairman and Chief Executive Alison Wenham described these divestments as “the crown jewels of EMI.” But there are also quite a lot of artists and bands being divested whose best days are behind them (Tina Turner, Duran Duran, Jethro Tull, Depeche Mode, Moby) and whose value is going to lessen over time. But, UMG has The Beatles and so the company now has the two biggest UK bands ever (inc. The Rolling Stones) in its stable. Other icons moving under UMG’s control include the Beach Boys, Genesis and Bob Seger. Contemporary big names that pass to UMG include Katy Perry, Emeli Sandé, Robbie Williams, Herbert Grönemeyer, Lady Antebellum and Norah Jones. Continue reading
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing industries has revealed that Universal Music Group (UMG) remained the world’s biggest record company and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) the largest music-publishing company in 2011. The positioning of each of the four major record-label and music-publishing companies was unchanged last year. Although this lack of change could suggest that 2011 offered up “more of the same” in the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors, such an assumption would be wide of the mark. Continue reading
In the two weeks before the publication of the current issue of Music & Copyright, we conducted a poll of visitors to this blog asking whether Adele’s success disproved the argument that major-record-company dominance hampered market access for independent artists. Unsurprisingly, the majority of voters said no (see chart below). Despite the phenomenal success of Adele, one artist, no matter how big they have become, would certainly not be enough to invalidate the argument. But there have been a number of other indie-label successes that could form part of a case against the arguments concerning market-access restrictions. Continue reading