The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Google’s latest antipiracy report sparks criticism from music industry
Google has published the latest version of its How Google Fights Piracy report, detailing its recent antipiracy activities. In addition to updating some of the facts and figures presented in the 2014 edition, the latest report explains how Google’s products and services have created opportunities for creators around the world and how the company has targeted those that have misused its services to commit copyright infringement. The report lists creators that have used the Google-owned service YouTube to boost their careers as well as develop new revenue streams and business opportunities. Reaction to the report from music industry bodies was swift. Both the IFPI and the BPI commented that Google has the resources and expertise to do much more than it currently does to limit the amount of recorded music accessed without permission on its platforms.
SGAE reports second year of modest growth in royalty collections
Spanish authors’ society SGAE has published its annual accounts for 2015 after approval from its membership at the June annual general meeting. SGAE has experienced an unsettled last few years with arrests of senior executives for misappropriation of funds followed by antitrust investigations over high tariffs for live performance and broadcast fees and several changes in its president. In terms of collections, the authors’ society has reported a second consecutive year of modest revenue growth after three years of decline. Ongoing economic difficulties have affected some of the main income sources. However, a big jump in private copying collections and growth in live music and general licensing collections fully offset revenue declines elsewhere.
The music industry must be more proactive about interactivity
New digital tech developments and ever more powerful computer processing are making consuming music a less passive experience. In various parts of the music industry, players are experimenting with interactive features that build a degree of customization into audio and audiovisual content. Although some of the creations are proving hugely popular, interactivity still feels like a nascent segment, and many players seem reluctant to go beyond the basics. They risk missing a great opportunity to develop more immersive experiences that really engage with audiences, especially millennials keen to stamp their mark on music-based content.
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 profile. The UK recorded music industry is in something of a lull at the moment. Three straight years of decline ended in 2013 with a rise in trade revenue. However recorded music sales dipped in 2014, with rising income from streaming unable to match the drop in downloads and CD album sales. Last year saw the continued shift from ownership to access, but overall trade earnings were down for the second consecutive year. In contrast to trade earnings, the retail value of recorded music sales grew year-on-year with a rising number of subscriptions fully offsetting consumer spend on singles and albums. Royalty collections in the UK were more positive: Both PRS for Music and PPL registered annual growth. Live music continues to be the most robust leisure sector in the UK with tours and festival appearances still the most secure way for artists to generate revenue. Despite the overall increase in ticket sales, smaller venues in the country continue to close because of rising rents, urban development, and noise regulation.
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