New issue of Music & Copyright with South Korea country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Streaming is set to monetize music across the Middle East
The music business has, until recently, had little success selling its wares in the Middle East region. But the climate looks to have changed since the arrival of streaming services, which are proving increasingly popular with consumers. Now, the leading record companies are establishing and expanding operations across the region, mostly in alliance with local partners. The prospects look pretty good for music streaming, and operators are busy building out their libraries. However, there is a need to provide potential users with a large menu of local music, not just access to international favorites. Moreover, the key to success will be the focus on the region’s various genres, given that the many Middle East submarket audiences can have very different music tastes.

Record collections and distributions for MCSC despite lingering impact of COVID-19
Royalty collections in China have increased for the 13th consecutive year. In September, the Chinese authors’ society MCSC published its business report for 2021, confirming that total collections had topped the previous year’s record and exceeded CNY400m ($62m) for the third straight year. Distributable revenue also increased to a new record high, with the amount available for distribution above CNY300m for the third year in a row. Digital is the biggest collection source for Chinese authors ahead of background music. Both increased last year after suffering a dip in 2020. TV income also returned to growth, while radio and karaoke revenue was down.

Midyear growth for recorded-music sales in Spain, but “stagnation signals” suggest recovery is slowing
Spanish recorded-music trade association Promusicae has reported a rise in recorded-music retail sales in the first half of this year. Spending on digital formats and services increased, with both audio and video streaming registering growth. Physical sales were flat, as the rise in vinyl LP sales was offset by lower revenue from CDs. Vinyl generated higher sales than CDs for the first time in more than 30 years. While the results were largely positive overall, Promusicae expressed some concerns that the growth rate for streaming has slowed significantly over the last couple of years. Moreover, although full-year retail sales are set to record a ninth straight year of growth, the total will still be a long way short of the record set at the turn of the century.

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 widely considered 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 multifaceted, with both physical and digital formats and services flourishing. One of South Korea’s unique features is the healthy position for CD album sales. The format remains popular among consumers despite the rise of digital access. Last year saw the biggest jump in CD sales, with many consumers substituting spending on live music for collectible CD releases. Sales of music subscriptions also registered healthy growth, along with trade income from advertising-supported audio and video services. Korean-produced music continues to grow in popularity worldwide, and a number of K-pop bands have scored major chart success away from their home market. Local music groups dominate recorded-music distribution, with the major labels accounting for a low market share. Last year, collections for the authors’ society KOMCA hit a new record, with total receipts increasing at the fastest rate for four years.

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New issue of Music & Copyright

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

YouTube goes in heavy and files for summary judgement in Schneider copyright infringement case
The class action complaint filed at a California district court by jazz composer Maria Schneider against online video service YouTube and search giant Google is heading for trial with both sides continuing to dispute their opponent’s claims and positions. The case centers on Schneider’s claim that smaller rights holders are denied access to the online video service’s Content ID system of copyright protection. Denying the use of Content ID means smaller rights holders are forced into trawling YouTube for unlicensed use of their content and then sending individual takedown notices to the video service via a web-form, email, or postal mail for each video their searches identify. August saw a flurry of activity with YouTube denied a motion to dismiss the complaint and then a battle to limit the level of data it was required to supply. The online video service also filed a set of responses to a number of Schneider’s accusations and ended the month by filing a motion for summary judgement.

Digital and general performance gains for SIAE, but live receipts remain depressed
Italian authors’ society SIAE has reported a return to growth for total revenue and receipts from rights collections after suffering a big drop in 2020 from the impact of COVID-19 on the performance sector. Music income edged up, while cinema and literary/visual arts receipts also increased year-on-year. Only dramatic works suffered a second straight year of decline. For music specifically, digital, general performance, and mechanicals registered growth. Digital receipts were up for the ninth year in a row, with increased streaming use boosting the total. General performance benefited from the opening up of the country after a number of lockdowns, while mechanicals improved from higher sales of physical formats.

The music business needs to sing from the same hymn sheet as the audience
The music industry can sometimes appear awash with initiatives that seek to increase awareness of climate change issues and persuade participants to sign up to various green pledges. However, as in other industry sectors, many of these activities come across as PR—greenwashing in the modern parlance—rather than as earnest endeavors to effect real change. There are, of course, solid efforts to, for example, reduce the environmental impact of vinyl production, to cut music streaming carbon emissions, and to switch away from virgin cotton for merchandise. But for many actors there’s a sense that there’s nothing much to be done other than to commit to achieving mere CO2 emissions targets. Sustainability initiatives must provide guidance on concrete actions that lead to real change and demonstrate to audiences that music really does mean business on issues relating to climate.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Austria country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Soul Assassins accuses Peloton of “outrageous and willful” copyright infringement
Fitness service Peloton has been hit by a copyright infringement lawsuit from music publisher Soul Assassins. According to the California federal court filing, the fitness service is accused of using a number of unlicensed tracks in its exercise videos without permission. A few years ago, Peloton faced similar claims from several music publishers in the US. Although the service initially denied any wrongdoing and countersued the publishers, an out-of-court settlement was subsequently agreed, and Peloton paid undisclosed damages. Soul Assassin’s filing is short in comparison with most other copyright infringement claims, with limited specifics of the accusations. Moreover, the publisher has not made it clear whether it attempted to have the disputed tracks removed from the service or sign any licensing deal.

Online takes the lead for SACEM as total rights collections return to growth
In June, French authors’ society SACEM reported a return to growth for member collections, with the total exceeding the €1bn ($1.18bn) mark for only the third time. Now, the society has published its annual report shedding greater light on the results. After five straight years of rising income, total rights receipts were down in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic badly affected several revenue streams. Although growth returned last year, SACEM said the effects of the crisis are still impacting its business. Online was the biggest positive, with collections rising sharply. Such was the size of the rise, digital income overtook broadcasting to become the society’s biggest revenue source. Broadcasting and general licensing receipts were down for the second year in a row. However, private copying income was up, along with mechanical rights.

Record companies turned movie makers need to tell a good story
A raft of music-based documentaries is coming out across a multitude of platforms, both on established and developed services such as Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and Paramount+. Streamer Amazon Music has seen an opportunity here and is able to leverage the powerful distribution channel that is Amazon Prime Video. The major music companies have also been busy positioning themselves in this space, teaming up with TV and movie production outfits. However, they must guard against producing content that merely relies on seen-before footage and editing-room expertise. The documentaries need to have savvy angles, not to mention a rattling narrative, to attract decent audiences.

Austria country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Austria music industry report. Although well-developed, with a relatively high per-capita spending rate on music, Austria could be described as one of Western Europe’s laggards when it comes to the transition from physical formats to digital. Like its bigger neighbor to the north, Germany, which plays host to a large sector of consumers that have long been wedded to the CD album, physical formats accounted for the biggest share of spending on recorded-music in Austria until 2018. However, digital has quickly increased in dominance with streaming now easily the biggest revenue generator for local record companies. Authors’ rights collections in the country suffered a second year of decline, although growth is expected to return this year. Performance rights receipts for producers and performers edged up but remain short of prepandemic levels.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Sweden country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Digital music oldie Napster looking to the metaverse for a reawakening
Music industry disruptor Napster is reinventing itself once more, and this time it’s taking aim at the metaverse. The one-time illicit filesharing pioneer turned digital music company now has new financial backers and believes it can parlay its music tech experience into Web3 success. Napster’s first meta effort will involve bringing blockchain and tokenization technology to its streaming product before pushing into yet-to-be-developed offerings. The company can boast digital music expertise and has brought onboard Web3 know-how, so it may well find a space in the metaverse. However, it is up against some pretty stiff, well-resourced competition and could be severely outgunned by tech’s big players.

Return to collection growth for Hungarian authors’ society ARTISJUS
Hungarian authors’ society ARTISJUS has reported a return to growth for collections after registering the first fall in rights receipts since 2015. The dip in 2020 was caused by restrictions brought in by the government on the live, hospitality, and retail sectors to try and limit the spread of COVID-19. Public performance was hardest hit. However, the gradual lifting of restrictions last year resulted in the sector’s revenue stabilizing. Private copying, the biggest income source for the society, returned to growth after suffering a decline in the prior year. Higher royalty income from sales of desktop and laptop computers largely offset a dip in collections from mobile phones. Broadcast revenue benefited from new agreements with commercial TV broadcasters. Digital income almost trebled, with backdated collections from music streaming services boosting the total. However, digital remains a minor revenue source for ARTISJUS members.

Partial victory for UMG in TikTok copyright infringement claims against Bang Energy drink maker
UMG and a number of its recorded-music and music publishing subsidiaries have been granted a partial victory in their copyright infringement claim against the producer and owner of the drinks brand Bang Energy. The case concerned the use of UMG-owned musical works in videos produced by social media influencers promoting Bang Energy that were posted on the short video service TikTok. A Florida district court has decided that the drinks brand owner had committed direct copyright infringement and dismissed claims that the license held by TikTok for music use in posted videos covered the influencers’ music use. However, claims for contributory copyright infringement and vicarious copyright infringement were not granted. Although UMG proved to the court that the drinks company could have stopped the influencers using copyright-protected music, the music major failed to provide evidence of any financial benefit.

Sweden country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Sweden music industry report. As home to the world’s biggest on-demand audio subscription service Spotify, Sweden is considered one of the world’s most progressive recorded-music markets. The country’s digital share of combined physical and digital formats and service trade sales exceeded 93% last year (see Table 1), with audio and video streaming registering positive gains. Physical sales also increased, with a sharp rise in trade income from CDs. In line with the buoyancy of recorded-music sales, rights collections and live music spending enjoyed a positive 2021 after suffering declines in 2020 from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. STIM, SAMI, and Copyswede all registered growth in collections. Live was the worst-hit music industry sector as restrictions imposed by the government to limit the spread of the virus effectively shuttered concert tours and festivals. Growth returned in 2021, although it will take a few years for ticket sales to return to prepandemic levels.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with UK country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

US CRB affirms Phonorecords III rates but offers streaming services total cost and bundling gains
The long-running dispute between US rights holders and digital music streaming services over mechanical rates payable for the five years between 2018 and 2022 (Phonorecords III) is almost over. At the beginning of 2018, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) increased the overall percentage of revenue paid to songwriters by streaming services over the five years by 43.8% from 10.5% for the 2012–17 period (Phonorecords II). The rate was set to rise annually and would only reach 15.1% in 2022. However, Spotify, Amazon, Google, and Pandora appealed the ruling, and the rate increase was put on hold. Now, the CRB has confirmed that the rates will apply. Although the decision is a win for authors and publishers, the CRB decided not to change the total content cost (TCC) and bundle definitions and reverted back to the Phonorecords II levels.

Despite ongoing COVID-19 impact, broadcast and digital gains boost SGAE collections
Spanish authors’ society SGAE has published its annual accounts for 2021 after receiving approval from its membership at the June annual general meeting. Total collections were up for the first time since 2018. Although SGAE noted in its report that the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact its results, most performance-based revenue streams returned to growth after suffering sharp falls in 2020. Broadcasting registered the biggest rise of all the main collection sources, with backdated receipts boosting the total. Digital income was up year-on-year, and there were notable gains for on-demand audio and video streaming. Distributions to SGAE members were flat, with domestic payments edging up and monies sent overseas falling. SGAE signed four new representation agreements in 2021. The Spanish society now manages the repertoire of 173 collective management organizations in around 180 countries.

Brands push deeper into music, and now metaverse marketing beckons
Suddenly, leading brands seem to be in the business of releasing albums, with Pokémon and Mastercard making great play of their new recorded-music offerings as part of wider marketing campaigns. Pokémon looks to have cut through with its drop—it’s too soon to assess Mastercard’s album performance—and that may well spur the release of further branded musical offerings. Also, there’s more music industry appetite to work with brands to further monetize content. UMG’s partnerships unit has just launched the UMusic Media Network, offering music for brands to work with, following a similar service rollout from indie distributor UnitedMasters that has already attracted big-hitter Diageo. And while music-brand alliances have long been many and varied, the metaverse is as yet unchartered territory for such partnerships. IHeartMedia clearly believes that’s the case, while WMG really ought to leverage its early-mover position in the virtual world and bring brands onboard.

UK country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed UK music industry report. The UK is the world’s third-largest recorded-music market. Earlier this year, the IFPI said the country maintained its global ranking despite a strong performance by fourth-placed Germany. In common with many other developed markets around the world that suffered from the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, certain sectors of the UK music industry were badly affected. Live music is only now beginning to recover after an 18-month hiatus, while performance-based rights collections took a hit but are now bouncing back. Recorded-music sales held up well, with higher revenue from streaming and vinyl offsetting performance rights and synchronization declines. Last year saw recorded-music trade sales benefit from rising sales of all formats apart from downloads. Furthermore, performance rights and synchronization returned to growth. Digital now generates close to 70% of recorded-music trade sales. UMG maintained its distribution lead over second-placed SME.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Japan country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Global music market set to double in value, with streaming and live the big growth providers
US investment bank Goldman Sachs has published its latest set of forecasts for the global music industry. In what can only be described as eyewatering numbers, the bank is expecting major growth for the recorded-music, music publishing, and live music sectors. Forecasts for the global total in all years have been raised from the previous estimations published 12 months ago. Streaming gains are set to boost the recorded-music and publishing totals, with growth driven by volume, price, and emerging platforms. Despite the current economic problems, Goldman Sachs believes music streaming will be able to weather any downturn. The bank also sees the digital distribution landscape as competitive, with no one service dominating. Although Spotify is the global leader, the Swedish service is set to lose market share to services currently on the up, such as YouTube Music and Tencent Music Entertainment. Live music is set for a major bounce back after almost two years of disruption, with total revenue for the sector this year almost back to prepandemic levels.

Erratic annual performance for SABAM continues, with growth at home but declining overseas income
Belgian authors’ society SABAM has reported a return to growth for collections, with several of the performance-based revenue streams improving after a year beset by COVID-19 restrictions and sector closures. Broadcasting income increased, but it was background music that recorded the biggest bounce back as receipts rose sharply. Despite the popularity of music streaming in Belgium, digital income was down. However, the dip was caused by an adjustment to previous years’ income accounted for in 2021. Live suffered a second year of tumbling collections, although the rate of decline slowed significantly. Mechanicals benefited from physical formats’ sharp rise in sales. However, the time gap between money in and money out meant distributions were down last year, as payments were based on collections made in the first year of the pandemic.

DIY music needs a dose of creativity, both from artists and distributors
The withdrawal from the do-it-yourself (DIY) music space by two music business big hitters could be taken as a sign that the independent recorded-music scene is flagging. That’s not the case, however, with the likes of TuneCore, DistroKid, and CD Baby still offering what are proving to be essential platforms for up-and-coming artists. And recent changes to pricing should make it easier for musicians to develop new release strategies that make the most of their recorded output. However, it would be great to see these services create more new features that could squeeze greater value out of recordings, as it remains just as difficult for most unsigned artists to make a living from their music.

Japan country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Japan music industry report. Of all the world’s leading recorded-music markets, Japan has arguably been the most erratic, with some sizable differences in annual performance. Looking back over the last 10 years or so, trade revenue from recorded-music sales has been inconsistent, with one or two years of growth followed by a couple of years of decline. However, despite record company income from physical formats continuing to be unpredictable, the digital sector has stabilized. Moreover, following a lengthy reliance on downloads, the subscription sector now generates around three quarters of the total digital revenue for the local industry.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Germany country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Podcasts set to become a money-spinner for music streamers
Music streamers are upping their game in the podcasting space and investing increasing sums in production capabilities and original content. Podcasts have long been difficult to monetize, but the quality and diversity of output has increased significantly in the last few years, pulling in larger audiences. Listeners tend to be young and relatively more affluent, which is attracting serious advertising dollars. Streamers now need to ensure that, going forward, they don’t spoil the medium by overloading it with a surfeit of brand messaging. In addition to ads, subscriptions look likely to provide a decent secondary revenue stream, although the challenge of getting listeners to pay for what has, to date, largely been available for free is not an unsubstantial one.

Streaming gains return Swedish authors’ society STIM to collection growth
Swedish authors’ society STIM has reported a return to collection growth following a dip in rights receipts in 2020. The spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions brought in by the government to contain the virus continued to take their toll, but a jump in digital revenue more than offset all other sector declines. Digital accounted for more than half of domestic receipts for the first time, with collections boosted by a particularly good year for the ICE joint venture, which is co-owned with PRS for Music and GEMA. Also up was income from online video-on-demand (VOD) and advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) services. Broadcasting revenue was relatively flat, with linear TV benefiting from more people staying at home. However, TV receipts are expected to fall as more consumers sign up to over-the-top (OTT) services. Live music has been the worst affected sector during the pandemic. The government only removed all restrictions in February, and so collections suffered accordingly. However, all the major music festivals are set to return this year, and artist tours are proceeding after a two-year hiatus.

DICE rolls from strength to strength, from ticketing to livestreaming
Mobile ticketing company DICE has done a good job breaking into the live music sector against some powerful companies, thanks in large part to its innovative, consumer-friendly technology. It has also shown lots of ambition, having rapidly built an international operation, with further geographical expansion likely following a recent launch in the German market. DICE was also quick to see opportunity during the pandemic lockdowns with a shift into music livestreaming that has now become a serious business for the firm, especially following the acquisition of established streamer Boiler Room. The company now has a chance of becoming a decent-sized fish in this space if it demonstrates the same get-up-and-go it applied to ticketing.

Germany country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Germany music industry report. Retail sales of recorded-music in Germany increased for the third year in a row in 2021, after two years of modest decline. Continued interest in subscription and streaming has continued to offset physical formats and downloads’ steady drop off. Notable in last year’s sales figures was that access service revenue accounted for more than two-thirds of the combined physical and digital total. Digital generated more than three quarters of the retail total. Sales of physical formats were down year-on-year, but the rate of decline was lessened by a rise in sales of vinyl and gains for audiocassettes and singles. International pop was again the most popular genre but a fall in share for the leader and a rise for second-placed hip-hop/rap narrowed the gap between the top two. Collections for authors’ society GEMA returned to growth, although the total for last year fell short of returning to prepandemic levels. Ticket sales to live music events are thought to have rebounded after a tough year caused by the enforced shuttering of venues to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Finland country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Music industry gender issues need addressing with actions not words
The music industry is finding it difficult to provide real opportunities to women, on both the creative and business sides. Study after study continues to demonstrate the enormous bias toward male participation in the sector, with little progress made over the past 10 years despite the wide, and growing, range of initiatives aimed at promoting female involvement in music. Much of this activity is mere tinkering and now the industry’s principals need to rally to the cause and lead by example. Now is not the time for window dressing.

JASRAC reports return to growth for collections, but distributions suffer a delayed COVID-19 effect
Japanese authors’ society JASRAC has reported a return to growth for collections, following on from a year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the country suffering from its highest levels of infections, the return of performances and concerts buoyed general performance. However, broadcasting income was down, although the prior year’s total was inflated from backdated payments. Mechanical collections registered a good year, with the total boosted by a rise in both CD and games income. Also benefiting the total was mechanicals from broadcast commercials. Digital collections were up, with JASRAC noting particularly positive results from music streaming and subscriptions. Unsurprisingly, distributions, which were based on collections in the prior year, suffered a fall for the first time in four years.

Ninth Circuit affirms California district court ruling that Toni Basil is the sole owner of Mickey
Singer and performer Antonia Basilotta, better known as Toni Basil, has won her case at the US Ninth Circuit regarding ownership of 10 tracks written and recorded some 40 years ago. Basilotta submitted termination notices to the music company Stillwater nine years ago in line with US copyright law that allows authors to reclaim the copyrights to their music after a set period of time. Although Stillwater agreed that the tracks in question were not works for hire, the company disputed ownership, claiming that the producer should be credited as a coauthor. After a California district court ruled in favor of Basilotta, Stillwater launched an appeal. However, a three-judge panel affirmed the district court’s decision, declaring Basilotta sole owner of the tracks.

Finland country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Finland music industry report. Finland is one of Europe’s smaller countries. Despite having a land area rivaling the region’s leaders, the population of Finland ended last year at slightly more than 5.5 million. In recorded-music terms, Finland sits just outside the global top 20. However, despite its modest ranking, the country is a market leader with regards to the digital transition from ownership to access. Subscription services generate around 80% of combined digital/physical trade income, and this share will continue to rise as sales of the once-dominant CD album drop away and downloads disappear. UMG maintained its position as the biggest recorded-music distributor. However, 2021 was the first year since 2015 that the company’s market share was down. Both second-placed WMG and third-ranked SME closed the gap on the leader. Royalty earnings collected by authors’ society TEOSTO returned to growth after 2020 was impacted by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The live industry suffered for a second straight year after the sector was effectively shuttered for 18 months.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Canada country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

US songwriters edging closer to an end to the 15-year physical mechanical rates freeze
UMG, SME, and WMG along with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) have submitted a joint motion to the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) agreeing on the mechanical rates payable on the sale of physical recorded-music products, permanent downloads, ringtones, and music bundles (subpart B configurations) for the five years between 2023 and 2027. Earlier this year, the CRB judges had withdrawn their backing of a previous agreement between the music companies and rights holder groups following criticism that the freezing of current rates was unfair. The CRB judges called on industry stakeholders to either come together and forge a new agreement or face long, drawn-out, expensive litigation. Although the new motion will see rates increase 32%, plenty of other issues aside from the rate rise remain unresolved.

Annual revenue for SME tops the JPY1tn mark for the first time
Sony Corp. has reported a good end to the 2021 financial year for its music division SME. Recorded-music and music publishing sales were up year-on-year in 4Q21 with gains for the two segments more than offsetting a dip in revenue for visual media and platform. For the full year, improved recorded-music and publishing income boosted SME sales past the JPY1tn ($7.7bn) mark for the first time. Streaming drove the recorded-music total in the quarter and full year with higher sales more than offsetting declines in sales of physical formats and downloads. Streaming was also the publishing mainstay although “other” publishing revenue registered a much more positive year than in the prior 12 months. Income for the third division, visual media and platform, was down in the quarter and full year with the prior year periods boosted by the massive success of the anime movie Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba–Mugen Train.

Deezer comes to market as it takes on music rivals with streaming allies
Deezer has been in the music streaming business a long time but is regarded as something of a second-tier provider in comparison with the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. The company is now set to get a stock exchange listing along with large sums of money to help it grow. It’s too late for Deezer to make it big across a broad swathe of markets, so it needs to cherry-pick and decide where there’s real opportunity to make a mark. To date, it has shown it can do this when it joins forces with a strong local partner, and there’s no reason to believe that this strategy can’t deliver going forward. Also, Deezer has already shown commitment to the fast-growing livestreaming sector and it’s here where the brand has the chance to cut through and perhaps become a major operator.

Canada country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Canada music industry report. Canada is one of the world’s bigger music markets. Although an ever-present in the top 10, the country has slipped a couple of places in recent years, with South Korea and China registering higher gains in trade sales. Last year, however, Canada maintained its position as the eighth-biggest recorded-music market, extending its lead slightly over ninth-placed Australia for the second year in a row. Recorded-music consumption levels were up in 2021, along with trade sales. Streaming registered healthy growth, along with sales of vinyl. Performance rights were down for the second year in a row as the sector continues to suffer the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the third consecutive year, UMG and SME enhanced their market share lead over WMG and the independents. SOCAN is yet to publish full collection results for 2021. However, preliminary estimates by the authors’ society show revenue from licensed music set a new record, beating the previous high set in 2019. After suffering a major downturn, Canada’s live sector has started on the long road to recovery. Estimates suggest it will take several years for ticket sales to return to prepandemic levels.

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New issue of Music & Copyright

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Streaming gains forecast to take recorded-music sales to new highs
Omdia has updated its forecasts for retail sales of recorded-music. In line with previous estimates, the recorded-music sector is firmly a growth market and Omdia expects sales in each of the years up to and including 2026 to rise. By the end of the forecast period, retail sales will have grown for 12 consecutive years. However, although the global total will top the record high set in the late 1990s, a straight comparison is not strictly accurate given that recent results include performance rights and synchronization and 20+ years of inflation have not been accounted for. Including annual price rises, global sales are still short of setting a record. Subscriptions are the single biggest recorded-music category and will generate close to 70% of global revenue by the end of the forecast period. Furthermore, income from advertising will overtake spending on physical formats in 2024. China will replace France in the top five market listing this year and go on to supplant Germany in 2026.

Global, recorded-music retail sales by individual source, 2021–26 Source: Omdia

CJEU rules Article 17 of the copyright directive is in line with fundamental rights
The EU Court of Justice (CJEU) has rejected claims by the Polish government that Article 17 of the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was not compatible with freedom of expression and information detailed in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (the Charter). The Polish government had claimed that making it necessary for service providers to carry out automatic filtering of content uploaded by users and therefore to introduce preventative control mechanisms in order to prevent future uploads of protective works, undermined the essence of freedom of expression and information. The government also said the Article 17 of the Directive did not comply with the requirement that limitations imposed on that right be proportional and necessary. However, the court has decided that the obligation on online content-sharing service providers (OCSSPs), to review uploaded content before it is made available, is accompanied by the necessary safeguards to ensure that that obligation is compatible with freedom of expression and information.

The recorded music business sees value in the metaverse, podcasting, film, and more
The metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are exerting a strong pull on the recorded-music business, whose denizens are placing bets on cutting-edge Web3 technologies and initiatives becoming major money spinners. Right now, artist avatars, digital collectibles, virtual landgrabs, and even blockchain-based memories, are proving irresistible investments. Back in the real world, record companies are busy developing their podcasting capabilities, while extending into film and TV productions and expanding their health and fitness activities. However, although all these may well have strong potential as revenue drivers, music companies need to ensure that they leverage their core competences to get the maximum out of any new ventures.

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