The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Midyear trade results hint at a very positive year for global recorded-music sales
All of the world’s major recorded-music markets and a good number of smaller ones have published midyear trade figures. Based on the numbers, combined global trade revenue from the sale of physical and digital recorded music and income from music access services could rise at the highest rate for more than 20 years. All trade associations that have published figures, with the exception of Japan’s RIAJ, have shown continued gains from music subscription services, with the growth more than offsetting declines in earnings from other formats. The ongoing dominance of a small number of markets means a return to global growth will remain in the hands of the few. However, a good performance from some of the world’s so-called emerging markets will determine just how big the annual rise will be.
Music industry takes aim at stream-ripping site Youtube-mp3.org
Two weeks after the IFPI published the results of a study that identified a rise in the use of stream-ripping services, US and UK music trade associations have ramped up the pressure on the world’s biggest such site, Germany-based Youtube-mp3.org. In the US, legal proceedings have been filed in a federal court in California against the site and its owner for copyright infringement. In the UK, the BPI has put the stream-ripping site on formal notice of intended legal action if it does not cease infringing. The practice of stream ripping has been around for several years, and legal action has only once before been brought against Youtube-mp3.org. That case had little effect on the workings of the service, and the number of stream-ripping sites available to Internet users has subsequently grown unchecked. However, with concerted legal action taking place on both sides of the Atlantic, Youtube-mp3.org and other stream rippers are facing a new reality.
Post-pirate Napster needs new friends to stay in the music stream
File-sharing pioneer Napster is back in the US market, badging the established Rhapsody music-streaming service. After being acquired by Rhapsody in 2011, the Napster brand finally replaced Rhapsody in June in the US, the only market not to be fronted by the famous cat logo. However, while Napster proved to be a major disruptive force at the turn of the century, its current iteration is no match for leading streamers such as Spotify and Apple Music. That leaves the offering competing against a raft of lesser, but still powerful, undifferentiated streaming platforms. Nothing in Rhapsody/Napster’s history suggests that its music offering can cut through, and its fate might well be to be of streaming’s also-rans.
Mexico country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Mexico music industry report. Mexico is Latin America’s second largest recorded music market and the region’s biggest live market. After two years of decline, record company earnings from recorded music sales and services registered impressive growth in 2015. This rise was driven solely by a big jump in music subscriptions. Mexico crossed the digital tipping point in 2014, and the gap between digital and physical widened significantly last year. SME maintained its lead as the biggest record company in Mexico with a slight increase in market share over second-placed UMG. Mexico’s biggest events company, Interamericana de Entretenimiento, registered a big rise in earnings in 2015, and results so far this year from the company suggest that 2016 will be another profitable year.
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