New issue of Music & Copyright with South Korea country report

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

Rollout of 5G networks offers a whole new dimension of music collaboration and connection
With the distribution of recorded music now an access-dominated business, the means by which music fans engage in listening has come sharply into focus. No longer do consumers have to visit a record store to purchase recorded music – almost every track ever released is available at the touch of a button. However, the uptake of access services is slowing in developed markets, and so forward planners are looking to new experiences to keep the growth momentum going. 5G offers music companies just that opportunity. Commercial rollouts of 5G networks are under way, although consumer uptake will take a while to gather pace. But already experiments and trials have shown how the music industry may be able to harness and monetize this new high-speed distribution network.

Digital gains boosts SACEM collections to new record
French collection society SACEM has reported a fourth consecutive annual growth in collections, with income topping the previous year’s record. Domestic and foreign receipts were up year on year, while revenue from mandates edged down. The differing fortunes of general rights and broadcasting saw the former overtake the latter to become the biggest collection source for SACEM. Background music income was boosted by higher average user fees and a rise in the customer base. Broadcasting income was hit by a drop in advertising sales. Digital registered the highest growth rate of the main collection sectors, with revenue more than doubling. New contracts provided the biggest boost to the digital total, although greater consumer interest in streaming added to the total. A higher growth in collections than costs meant the authors’ society’s net operating cost as a share of collections edged down.

Regulation is just the ticket for the live music sector
Regulators and lawmakers are starting to turn their attention to long-standing abuses in the ticketing business, with the lack of transparency over fees and hugely inflated resale prices in their sights. New rules and legislation have already been introduced or are in the pipeline in a number of countries, but all participants in the live music sector have the duty to do more to better protect consumers. Current alliances aimed at tackling bad actors and bad practices need to be strengthened. And there is certainly a role for technological solutions that will make it that much more difficult for scalpers to ply their trade.

South Korea country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed South Korea music industry report. South Korea’s recorded-music industry is arguably the most advanced in the world. Since the turn of the century, the sector has been through a massive transformation, from being almost overrun by piracy to becoming a multifaceted market where both physical and digital formats and services flourish. Surprisingly for a developed market, CD album sales are still healthy despite the rise of digital access. Although spending on digital music accounted for the majority of music sales last year (see Figure 1), a third consecutive year of growth in spending on physical formats has narrowed the gap. Locally produced music is popular worldwide, with the K-pop genre benefiting from the so-called Korean Wave, which began in the late 1990s and continues to boost the popularity of South Korean popular culture through online services and social media. Local music groups dominate recorded-music distribution, with the major labels accounting for a low market share.

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