The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Flurry of deals and service announcements end a busy year for digital music
The battle for digital music supremacy took on new urgency in December, with a flurry of activity by several of the music streaming sector’s main players. The rumored rollout of a new all-encompassing service from YouTube was quickly followed by Amazon’s extension of its Music Unlimited service footprint. Not to be outdone, Apple then confirmed press reports that it had acquired song-recognition service Shazam. Spotify also confirmed reports that it would be exchanging minority equity stakes with Tencent Music Entertainment Group. Although Spotify has ended this year as the clear music subscription leader, the moves by the big names in the chasing pack suggest that there will be no letup in the push toward subscription service dominance.
Vinyl revival continues under the music streaming radar
Sales of vinyl in many of the world’s developed markets are on something of a roll at the moment. Although the vast majority of the recorded-music headlines are devoted to the business of music streaming, sales of the age-old vinyl LP continue are continuing to rise. New manufacturing plants are coming on line to meet the newfound demand for the format, and the likelihood is that vinyl will remain a part of the rapidly evolving recorded-music sector. Despite the high growth rates, vinyl still accounts for a small share of the physical-format sector. Moreover, the collectable status of the format means album prices are much higher than their CD equivalent. So the big question is: How long will the revival last for, and will consumers continue to be attracted by vinyl, or does the slowdown in global shipments mean the end of the vinyl road is already in sight?
IPRS receives reregistration notice, but collections fall for the third straight year
Indian authors’ society IPRS has reported a drop in collections for the financial year ending March 2016. With the exception of domestic radio broadcasting, all revenue streams suffered a fall. IPRS commented that unfavorable court rulings and litigation as well as issues concerning its registration as a copyright society and other enforcement matters were the main reasons for the collection reduction. Following a government investigation into the running of IPRS, the collection society has adopted a new set of articles of association. Moreover, elections resulted in the appointment of a new board of directors and governing council. In May, IPRS submitted to the commerce ministry an application for reregistration as an official collection society, and this status was granted in November.
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 because of online piracy, as the shift from physical formats to digital resulted in big losses for record companies. However, for the last two years, trade revenue has risen sharply and continues to do so. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA reported a fifth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies edged up last year with gains in performance collections just offsetting lower mechanical rights. Producers’ and performers’ collection society SENA suffered a fall in total licensing income for 2016. Although domestic receipts were up year on year, lower income from the US meant international collections were down sharply. The live industry experienced a positive 2016 and the sector’s good performance looks to have continued this year.
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