The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Currency fluctuations impact on global royalty collection performance in 2015
Combined royalty collections for the world’s 20 biggest collective management organizations (CMOs) that have published results fell sharply last year at current exchange rates after two consecutive years of growth. At constant exchange rates, combined royalty collections registered growth. With eight of the top-20 CMOs reporting results in euros, the strength of the dollar against the euro last year compared with 2014 greatly affected the current exchange rate comparison. French authors’ society SACEM was the leader in terms of total revenue. Sixteen of the top-20 CMOs reported increased collections. The US is the clear leader in terms of authors’ collections at country level, with combined collections by the CMOs ASCAP and BMI surpassing the $2bn mark. Europe is the biggest region, accounting for more than half of the global total.
RIAA notorious markets submission illustrates piracy site survival tactics
Every year, the US music trade body, the RIAA, submits a list of websites and services to the US Trade Representative (USTR). This is in response to a request for comments identifying online and physical markets based outside the US that should be included in the USTR’s annual Notorious Markets List. The sites and services are included on the list because they are deemed by the RIAA to inhibit the growth of legitimate online music markets to the detriment of US rights holders. The submission includes a number of familiar names as well as details of some previously deemed notorious sites and services that were removed from the list. The submission also provides music industry watchers with a good illustration of the difficulties faced by music trade bodies and associations in their ongoing campaign to limit the unauthorized distribution of recorded music.
Digital radio take-up in Europe remains patchy
In most European countries, broadcasting is the most valuable income stream for rights holders. Broadcasting-related royalty collections usually account for the biggest share of annual earnings for authors and publishers. Digital developments in TV broadcasting and the shift from analog terrestrial broadcasting has resulted in more channels using more music and a growing earning potential. However, the same has not happened for radio. Despite high coverage levels in a number of countries and reported increases in digital radio listening, no country in the European Union has set a firm switch-off date for analog radio broadcasts. Denmark looks likely to become the first member state to go all-digital, but it is the non-EU countries of Norway and Switzerland that are all set to be the first in Europe to ditch analog altogether.
Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry report. After more than a decade of falling trade revenue from recorded-music sales, the Netherlands is experiencing a major bounce back. Like most European music markets, the country suffered from online piracy with the shift from physical formats to digital, resulting in big losses for record companies. However, last year saw trade revenue rise sharply, and the positive trend has carried into this year. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA have reported a fourth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies grew at an increased rate last year, with gains reported in both performance and mechanical rights. Producers’ and performers’ collection society SENA registered a record year for collections and distributions. The live industry experienced a positive 2015, and despite difficulties with the weather, this year’s festival program has seen visitor numbers increase.
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