New issue of Music & Copyright with South Africa country report

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Digital and private-copying gains boost SACEM collections
French collection society SACEM has reported a second successive year of growth in collections with income and distributions both topping previous record levels. Domestic income and collections from mandates all registered a year-on-year rise in 2016. Although collections from broadcasting edged down and income from mechanicals continued to fall, collections from the main income sources registered growth. Moreover, in a repeat of 2015, private copying and online were the biggest gainers. Authors’ rights distributions to SACEM members increased year on year, along with payments for cultural projects and social programs. Despite the collection growth, a higher rise in operating costs meant the authors’ society’s net operating cost-to-royalty ratio edged up.

Vinyl market keeps on turning as providers get innovative
The headline story for the recorded-music business at the moment is all about streaming and the ongoing shift from ownership to access. However, the resilience of vinyl suggests that the age-old format still has a part to play in the music industry’s future. While sales have grown rapidly for a number of years, the vinyl segment still accounts for only a small percentage of recorded-music revenue. But underneath all the headlines, the vinyl sector is showing signs of innovation, on both the technical and commercial sides. Moreover, ongoing high prices for the format look set to keep on attracting new entrants with new ideas to the market.

SABAM reports a flat year for collections but a fall in distributions
Belgian authors’ society SABAM has reported a flat year for collections, with gains in public performance and broadcasting unable to offset collection decreases elsewhere. All the main public performance income streams, except for cinema, registered growth last year. Although overall broadcasting collections were up, the different broadcast sectors experienced differing performances. Digital collections were lower year on year, with a sharp drop in royalties from downloads and simulcasting wiping out the growth in earnings from streaming. Total phono-mechanical collections edged down, but the sector experienced big variations by income source. Distributions suffered a big decline and operating costs edged up.

South Africa country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed South Africa music industry report. South Africa is the Africa’s biggest music market. Consumer spending on recorded music and live performance as well as royalty collections are significantly higher in the country than in any other market in the region. Despite its geographic location, South Africa is more akin to a Western music market and has far more in common with many countries in Europe and North America than it does its closest neighbors. While this means per-capita spending on music is high compared with other African countries, the same problems encountered in the developed world in the shift from physical formats to digital and, more recently, downloads to access, have been experienced in South Africa. Although the rise in high-speed internet access has exacerbated problems associated with the unauthorized distribution of music, higher digital sales, rising smartphone penetration, and the move into South Africa by several international streaming services suggests the market is on the right road to a brighter future.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.