New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil country report

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

Damaging accusations against two of the music industry’s biggest players make June a month to forget
The music industry is on the up at the moment. After enduring a long period of falling sales, the success of music streaming has returned the sector to growth. Music publishing is also benefiting from consumers’ willingness to access music rather than buy it. In an effort to keep the streaming train on track, some of the biggest players have come together to create a best-practice code to prevent stream manipulation, or the artificial inflation of streams served by underhand means. The creation of the code came in the same month that two of the music industry’s biggest players have been criticized for the way they have acted toward authors and artists. The NMPA in the US took a pot shot at Spotify after the streaming service said it wanted to claw back royalty overpayments to publishers based on new royalty rates that Spotify was appealing against. UMG has come in for major criticism over the way it handled the loss of master recordings that were destroyed in a fire 10 years ago.

Music goes DIY, but unsigned artists still need business savvy to make it big
The digital age and social media have proved a boon to DIY music. Thousands of unsigned artists have been able to break through initially online and sell their output through a raft of web-based stores. And the independent music sector continues to grow apace as a result. Myriad services have been developed to support unknown artists, either by enabling widespread digital distribution and royalty collection, or by helping provide crowdfunded finance. However, musicians can’t rely 100% on such platforms to always come up with the goods on the business side of the music industry. Some commercial nous and commitment are required, as it always has been, to make it big.

Both AKM and Austro Mechana see growth in collections
Austrian authors’ society AKM maintained its unbroken streak of collection growth last year, a trend that dates back more than 10 years. The collection society reported an increase in all of its main domestic revenue sources. Furthermore, overseas receipts were also up year on year. In a repeat of 2017, digital recorded the highest growth rate for AKM. However, despite the rise, digital remains a minor revenue source for Austrian rights holders. Public performance is the authors’ society’s biggest income source, followed by live music and TV. AKM subsidiary Austro Mechana (AUME) also reported higher revenue last year, with most of the growth coming from private copying. Backdated private-copying payments have been a big factor in AUME’s revenue in the last few years. However, excluding AUME’s biggest revenue source, total income for the collection society was still up year on year.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry report. Following two consecutive years of contraction, trade earnings from recorded music in Brazil have risen for two years in a row. Streaming was the sole growth driver, with income from access services more than offsetting a big drop in sales of physical formats as well as a dip in performance rights and lower revenue from synchronization. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported a fall in collections and distributions last year, following two years of growth. Brazilian events promoter Time For Fun (T4F) registered a positive final three months of last year but an overall dip in revenue for the 12 months.

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