New issue of Music & Copyright with Germany country report

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

Standing Committee publishes review of Canadian copyright law
The Canadian government’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has published its review of the country’s Copyright Act. Depositions and testimony from numerous industry stakeholders went into the review and the subsequent report makes a number of recommendations and observations to the government as to how the seven-year-old copyright law should be amended. Rights holders were keen on several changes, such as the introduction of greater controls on user-generated content services and the creation of an administrative body to deal with site blocking. Music industry stakeholders also pushed for the removal of the radio royalty exemption. However, the committee took a more balanced view of the necessary changes. The report has been presented to the government as guidance and the recommendations are advisory only.

Hungarian royalty collections see third straight year of growth
Hungarian authors’ society ARTISJUS has reported a third consecutive year of growth in royalty collections, with the total for last year topping HUF20bn ($74.2m) for the first time. Private copying was again the dominant collection source. However, after two years of growth boosted by increased receipts from mobile handsets, collections in 2018 were only marginally up on the previous year. Total collections were also boosted by positive results from public performance, with ARTISJUS reporting higher receipts from the hospitality sector as well as ongoing improvements in payment discipline. Digital collections were down for the second year in a row. Furthermore, digital remains a minor revenue source for ARTISJUS members. The authors’ society said in its business report that the shift to streaming has presented collection challenges, not least from the higher collection and distribution costs.

Music lines up its gaming partnership plays
Esports – video games played competitively in front of spectators – is already a major entertainment sector and is set to become even more significant in the next few years. Millions of gamers around the world play leading interactive titles while listening to music, while the esports events themselves – often taking place in large arenas – usually feature live music performances to fill out the experience. Unsurprisingly, this is attracting serious attention from the music industry. Partnerships are the best way into this business for gaming ingénues, but those eager to grab a share of esports’ fast-growing revenue need to quickly firm up strategies if they are to cut through and be successful in professional gaming.

Germany country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Germany music industry report. Retail sales of recorded music in Germany have plateaued in the last few years. Although subscription and streaming sales have registered healthy growth, the gains have fallen just short of fully offsetting the drop-off of physical formats and downloads. Notable in last year’s sales figures was that subscriptions and streaming overtook CDs to become the biggest single revenue source. While sales may have failed to increase year on year, the greater the share of spending on access services the better the chance Germany has of returning to growth. Authors’ society GEMA also suffered a decline last year with collections and distributions both unable to match the previous year’s record levels. However, the underlying performance was positive as collections in 2017 were inflated by one-off payments. Moreover, collections exceeded €1bn for the third consecutive year. Live music remains a stable sector. Ticket sales last year topped the previous year’s record, and live music event collections by GEMA have increased in four of the last five years.

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