New issue of Music & Copyright with China country report

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

Spotify’s direct listing in New York sheds light on the company’s inner workings
After months of speculation, global on-demand audio streaming leader Spotify has finally filed all the necessary documentation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirming its move to go public. The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the next month or so under the symbol SPOT. Rather than go down the more common IPO route, Spotify decided on a direct listing and is not issuing new shares. Instead, existing shareholders will be free to sell their shares through brokerage transactions. As is the case with all listings, documents filed with the SEC lift the lid on previously unseen financial and operating metrics. This research note picks out some of the more interesting insights surrounding the financial standing of the service, its popularity, and what the details tell us about the wider music streaming market.

Musicautor celebrates 25th year with return to collections growth
Bulgarian authors’ society Musicautor has marked a quarter of a century of operations by recording a rise in collections. The three biggest sources of income – TV, radio, and general licensing – all registered growth last year, more than offsetting a drop in collections from retransmission, digital, and live concerts. In its business report, Musicautor noted difficulties associated with the administration of digital music rights and its inability to process reports from several of the major music services. Although the withdrawal of Anglo-American repertoire administration a few years ago by music publishers as part of their move to create pan-European licensing hubs hit digital collections, the lack of technical ability to process reports from the international digital platforms is a major challenge. General licensing revenue returned to growth after a decline the previous year, and mechanical collections grew sharply following the completion of a deal with the local producers’ association.

Brands get to grips with social change initiatives through live music
Brands have long supported live music events, but simply stumping up cash to sponsor a stage, festival tent, or bar has quickly became something of yesteryear with the onset of social media and more intimate B2C communications. However, racking up substantial online metrics only goes so far, and a number of brands are now looking to do good in the community and engage in social change initiatives through live music. This is a riskier strategy than simply hanging a banner over a stage, and brands need to make sure they choose their partners and social issues carefully.

China country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed China music industry report. China is the world’s most populous country, with close to 1.4 billion people. It is also home to the second-biggest economy. Last year saw the country’s economy grew 6.9%, the first time in seven years that annual growth has accelerated. The increase was also higher than the Chinese government’s forecast of 6.5%. In line with the optimism surrounding the economy, certain sections of China’s music industry are starting to show signs that it is living up to its long-held potential. In the past, there have been several false starts. More recently, though, glimmers of optimism look set to turn into real sales. The latest IFPI figures showed trade revenue registered healthy growth in 2016, after a big jump in earnings in the previous year. Aside from slight increases in minor digital formats, all the growth in the last few years has come from streaming. Ovum has estimated that growth continued last year, and more is set to come.

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