The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Multicontent bundles and new social partnerships set to drive digital music’s evolution
Developments in the digital music sector inevitably touch on developments in other sectors where music players have found welcome bedfellows and beneficiaries. Although the leading music subscription services are continuing to attract new subscribers as they expand their reach around the world, in markets that have seen a drop in take-up, services have been forced to become more inventive to maintain the growth momentum. Furthermore, providing opportunities for consumers beyond a simple subscription will not only keep the music business on an expansive track, but also draw in users who have so far failed to be tempted by the simple single subscription. Ovum has picked out three key trends that prove that services and potential service partners need to look beyond straightforward service provision to benefit from a resurgent recorded-music sector. Each of the trends looks at how music streaming and the provision of music subscription services are likely to evolve over the next 12 months. However, we also detail how non-music-service players are increasingly becoming important to maintaining growth and, in some cases, providing whole new revenue streams.
Recorded-music sales in Australia see a positive first six months
Midyear trade sales figures published by Australian music trade association ARIA suggest the country is heading for a fourth consecutive year of growth. Big rises in audio and video streaming revenue more than offset declines in sales of CD albums and music downloads. Music subscriptions accounted for more than half of the total trade income in the six-month period for the first time, with streaming as a whole generating over two-thirds of the total trade revenue. The vinyl revival is still in full swing with sales of the format accounting for more than one quarter of the physical total. ARIA was upbeat about the results and the prospects for further growth, but the pattern of sales in the country over the last few years is similar to the Northern European streaming leaders, all of which are now heading for market stagnation.
Digital collections stall, but MCSC reports a new record for royalty receipts
Royalty collections in China increased last year for the ninth consecutive year. In September, local authors’ society MCSC published its business report for 2017, confirming that total collections had topped the previous record, set in 2016, and exceeded CNY200m ($29.2m) for the first time. Furthermore, the year-on-year growth rate was more than twice the rate in 2016, and collections have almost doubled in just five years. Digital was the biggest revenue source for Chinese authors, ahead of background music and TV. While MCSC welcomed the positive results, the authors’ society commented that the copyright environment in the country was slow to improve and that although progress has been made with regards to the licensing of background music, significant difficulties remain in many areas of royalty collection.
Norway country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Norway music industry report. Norway is part of a Northern European quartet of countries that have proved to be global leaders in the transition from music ownership to access. Despite having a population of just 5.3 million and ranking at the lower end of the global top 20 recorded-music markets, Norway’s share of recorded-music sales from access services rivals most others. Streaming accounted for 84.9% of trade revenue from combined sales of physical and digital formats and services last year and this share is expected to rise further as take up of subscription services continues to grow. UMG maintained its slim lead over second-placed SME for market share last year, with both companies suffering a slight share decline. Royalty earnings collected by authors’ society TONO hit record levels with growth boosted by a jump in digital receipts.
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