The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Producers’ and performers’ rights earnings see steady year
Performance-rights distributions broke new records last year, with total payment figures rising to their highest levels. The rights of record companies (producers) and performers have become an important source of income in recent years, given the long demise of recorded-music trade revenue. Although streaming has returned record-company earnings to growth, performance rights will remain a key source of revenue, with collections forecast to grow steadily over the next few years. Measured at both reported and constant exchange rates, global performance rights distributions increased year-on-year. The US continued to increase its dominance as the biggest national source of performance rights, despite a slowdown in collections by SoundExchange. Regionally, Europe is the biggest source of performance rights collections, but the region’s share of the global total fell last year after slipping below 50% for the first time in 2015.
Sweden’s recorded-music fortunes in limbo as midyear trade sales fail to excite
IFPI Sweden has reported modest growth in recorded-music trade earnings for the first half of this year. Record-company earnings from access services increased, although the breakout of the different streaming revenue sources showed that paid subscriptions were up but that advertising-supported audio and video service revenue fell year on year. Continued gains in vinyl revenue lessened the overall decline in physical format income. CD album and music video sales tumbled in the six-month period, along with single-track and album downloads. While the short-term situation for recorded-music sales in Sweden remains positive, the slowdown in subscriptions suggests that the longer-term fortunes for Europe’s most advanced recorded-music market are starting to look a little shaky.
Radio adapts to growing digital challenges
Big-budget music streaming services and digital in-car infotainment providers hope to eat into radio’s engaged and loyal listenership – boosting subscriber bases and driving advertiser investment away from broadcast content and toward their own platforms. Radio networks have worked well to adapt to the pressures of digitization, launching their own online radio services for smartphone and in-car listening and introducing repackaged content for sale online. However, collaboration must continue across the industry to consolidate listenership, particularly across the younger people that have grown up using digital technologies. Networks must continue to deliver content in diverse formats to drive revenue to and maintain healthy advertiser investment in the platform.
South Korea country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed South Korea music industry report. South Korea’s recorded-music industry is arguably the most advanced in the world. Since the turn of the century, the sector has been through a massive transformation, from being almost overrun by piracy to one that is now dominated by digital access services. Surprisingly, sales of CD albums are still healthy in the country despite the continued rise of digital sales. Korean-produced music is popular worldwide with the K-pop genre benefitting from the “Korean Wave,” which began in the late 1990s and continues to boost the popularity of South Korean popular culture through online services and social media. Local music groups dominate distribution of recorded music with the major labels accounting for a low market share.
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