The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Recorded music market share gains for WMG in 2014, Sony/ATV is the publishing leader
The annual survey by Ovum publication Music & Copyright of the recorded music and music publishing sectors has revealed changes in global market shares of the three major music groups. Recorded music leader UMG lost market share in 2014, mainly as a result of the sale of the Parlophone Label Group (PLG) to WMG in 2013, which formed part of EMI Recorded Music acquisition requirements. UMG’s loss was WMG’s gain and the smallest of the three majors narrowed the gap on second-placed SME. Sony/ATV held its lead in music publishing, but the collective share of the independent publishing sector was the highest overall.
Collections and distributions top record levels for GEMA in 2014
GEMA, the German authors’ society, has reported an increase in collections and distributions in 2014, a second consecutive year of growth after two previous years of decline. Despite difficult market conditions, GEMA said costs as a share of total revenue decreased. The authors’ society noted that collections were positive for almost all of its business sectors with digital experiencing the highest growth. However, despite the big rise, GEMA bemoaned the fact that collections from digital services did not match the volume of use and payments made by consumers to access the services.
Global recorded music earnings hit the digital tipping point
The IFPI, the global trade organization for the recorded music market, has released the latest editions of its annual Digital Music Report and Recording Industry in Numbers publications. The reports show that total record company earnings from recorded music slipped just 0.4% year-on-year in 2014, a much-reduced rate of decline compared with a 3.4% year-on-year dip in 2013. Perhaps most notable in the results was that trade earnings from digital formats and services edged ahead of physical formats for the first time. The IFPI reports also illustrated the growing importance of streaming with subscription revenue more than offsetting the decline in download sales. However, despite the improved trade results, the IFPI was highly critical of the digital music services that take advantage of exemptions from copyright laws to limit payments to rights holders and called for a clarification of the application of safe harbor provisions in European Union (EU) law to make it explicit that services that distribute and monetize music should not benefit from them.
Broadcasting and digital boosts KODA collections in 2014
Danish authors’ society KODA has reported a 7.6% rise in revenue in 2014, following on from a similarly good year in 2013. Almost all the major domestic income streams registered collection growth with digital the best performer. Overseas revenue bounced back after a slight year-on-year decrease in 2013. Despite the strong digital performance, the authors’ society has voiced its criticism of online video service YouTube over low royalty payments to its members.
Concert promoters look to build live-streaming businesses
The live-streamed music segment has been waiting for a tipping point for years. Often, backing from a big brand has been set to put live-performance video in the limelight, but limited marketing budgets have seen these initiatives burn brightly, only to then fade and die. The recent appearance of the Meerkat video app, easily the star of this year’s South by Southwestmusic and technology show, and the rise of competitive app Periscope, backed by Twitter, have done much to fuel speculation that, this time, live streaming is about to get some real, and sustainable, traction. However, broadcasting directly from concerts and festivals raises a whole raft of issues over performance rights. Moreover, it is event operators that are best-positioned to take advantage of streaming opportunities, and leading outfits such as Live Nation and SFX are already making strategic moves. Currently, Meerkat and Periscope are best viewed as Silicon Valley investment plays.
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