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.

ASCAP collections top $1bn for the second consecutive year
US performing rights organization ASCAP has reported a new record for royalty collections with revenue exceeding $1bn for the second year running. The growth came solely from domestic collections with all the major revenue sources recording an increase. Overseas collections were down with distributions to ASCAP members also suffering a decline. ASCAP’s operating expense ratio edged down while the number of performances tracked, matched, and processed for payment rose sharply. Last year ASCAP became the first performing rights organization (PRO) in the US to provide share ownership information in its publicly available online database for the 10 million–plus musical compositions in its repertory.

PRS for Music reports record year for performance royalties
UK authors’ society PRS for Music has reported a record year for performance royalty collections with all the main income sources registering a year-on-year rise. International royalties, the authors’ society’s biggest income source, returned to growth after a dip in 2014 with collections boosted by a number of exceptional payments, cable settlements, and higher broadcasting revenue. Distributions were also up last year compared with 2014 along with net distributable income. However, costs rose sharply, largely because of certain exceptional costs and one-off expenses associated with litigation and planned investments. As a result, the cost-to-income ratio increased year on year.

Big quarter for WMG as streaming takes the recorded music lead
WMG has reported details of the second quarter of its current financial year ending September 2016. Revenue in the January to March period was up at both current and constant exchange rates compared with the first three months of 2015. Notably, revenue from streaming has overtaken that of physical formats to become the biggest source of income for recorded music. Revenue from artist services and expanded rights also increased along with digital and synchronization earnings for the publishing division Warner Chappell. WMG noted that the fall in recorded music licensing earnings was mostly down to the impact of a large initial distribution of PLG neighboring rights income in the second quarter of the previous financial year.

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 profile. Retail sales of recorded music in Germany are on something of a roll at the moment. Trade association BVMI reported a third consecutive year of growth in January thanks to a big jump in revenue from subscriptions and streaming fully offsetting the falls in spending on CD albums and music downloads. Although revenue from access services now accounts for the biggest share of digital music income, CD albums remain the most popular format for German consumers. Authors’ society GEMA has also registered three straight years of revenue growth with total collections last year just edging past the previous year’s record total. Germany’s live industry, the biggest in Europe, is in good shape. The setting up of a Live Nation office in the country has heightened competition in an already competitive sector.

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