The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
SGAE committed to reform after CISAC suspends the society’s membership
Troubled Spanish authors’ society SGAE has been suspended from CISAC over concerns about the society’s operations, discriminatory treatment of rights holders, and unfair practices relating to the distribution of royalties. A report from CISAC containing recommendations for changes to the society’s governance rules, statutes, and royalty distribution practices was presented to SGAE over a year ago. A lack of progress on the confederation’s requirements resulted in the opening of a sanction procedure. Although CISAC said it has been working with SGAE for a number of months, a lack of progress on change has led to the authors’ society’s expulsion. SGAE has been embroiled in a scandal involving an alleged inappropriate and unbalanced television broadcast distribution scam. SGAE’s offices were raided by local police investigating claims made by some of the authors’ society’s members, who stated that SGAE was complicit in the scam. Despite the expulsion, SGAE says it is confident that it will be readmitted to CISAC after required changes are endorsed at the society’s June general assembly.
Sweden as a model for developed countries’ music subscriber potential
When music industry analysts comment about the potential future size of the music streaming and subscription sector, they often look to developing markets such as China and India, both of which have been re-energized after years of stagnation under the cloud of piracy. Certainly, the world’s two most populous countries have a central role to play in continuing the rise in recorded-music sales, along with several of their smaller neighbors. But many developed markets are still a long way from reaching their potential, and so for the next five years at least, these markets will remain the backbone of global growth. The paucity of official subscriber details means approximations and forecasts are the only way to plot the future of recorded-music sales. There are, however, one or two countries where granular evidence can back more precise estimations. Moreover, given the advanced position of some markets, the recorded-music sector has a model on which to base its future potential.
Podcasts are starting to look like a good bet for music companies
Record companies and music streaming operators are seeing value in the podcast and are investing in the content and production sides of the business. While both see podcasting as a way of increasing engagement with audiences, there’s also an opportunity for music streamers to increase their revenue outside their core music-listening businesses. Success lies both in making podcast discovery an easier operation than it is right now and in developing strategies to grab a decent share of the growing podcast advertising market – as far as the latter is concerned, those with data expertise at the heart of their activities ought to do best.
UK country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed UK music industry report. The UK’s music industry is experiencing a positive period at the moment. After several years of decline, recorded-music trade sales have now increased for three years in a row. Going one better, the retail value of recorded-music sales has risen for four consecutive years. Trade and retail sales have benefited from rising subscription sales, and streaming growth has more than offset a drop in spending on physical formats and downloads. Last year the UK retook third place from Germany in the global trade revenue ranking (see Figure 1). UMG extended its market share lead over second-placed SME, with the former gaining share and the latter suffering a decline. Royalty collections in the UK are on the rise, with both PRS for Music and PPL continuing to register record receipts. Live music continues to be the UK’s most robust leisure sector, with tours and festival appearances still a secure way for artists to generate revenue.
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