The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
China set to enter the top five as recorded music sales are forecast to continue rising
Ovum has updated its forecasts for retail sales of recorded music. In line with last year’s main conclusion, the recorded-music sector is firmly a growth market, and Ovum expects sales to rise in each of the years up to and including 2024. By the end of the forecast period, retail sales will have increased for 10 consecutive years and have topped the record high set in the late 1990s. Virtually all developed markets are benefiting from rising consumer interest in subscriptions and streaming, and, perhaps most importantly for the sector, many of the much-vaunted and piracy-dominated emerging markets are starting to show their worth. Subscriptions are the biggest recorded-music category and are set to account for two-thirds of total revenue in 2024. Ovum is still expecting the growth rate for recorded-music sales to slow over the next five years as the music subscription sector in most developed markets reaches maturity. But overall spending on subscriptions has been revised upward, and the rate of decline for physical sales has been eased.
USPTO begins consultation about rights protection for artificial intelligence innovation
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has started a process to determine whether a piece of music that has been produced by artificial intelligence (AI) with limited involvement of a person qualifies as a work of authorship as defined by US copyright law. The USPTO has published a series of questions on AI and rights ownership for public comment at a time when the technology is starting to make waves in the music industry. The use of AI in creating music remains a niche concept, with recordings still labeled as experimental. But as the technology backing AI becomes more sophisticated and the use of AI widens, questions about rights ownership are becoming more pressing, particularly given that AI is able to create works with minimal input from human inventors.
Localized content has been key to streamer Joox’s success
Chinese streamer Joox Music has carved out a strong position for itself in Southeast Asia, becoming the leading provider of streamed audio in a number of markets in the region. The company has leaned heavily on its marketing savvy to build national businesses and has aligned itself closely with K-pop, a hugely popular genre among Southeast Asia’s younger demographic. Joox’s emphasis on customizing its content to suit local tastes has also paid off, making it the go-to provider for audiences. The company is in a good position to profit from forecast music streaming in Southeast Asia and may well expand in the region. However, given its presence in South Africa and links to a regional partner, sub-Saharan Africa might offer better prospects.
Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry report. After more than a decade of falling trade revenue from recorded-music sales, the Netherlands is experiencing a sustained period of growth. As in most developed markets in Europe, record company earnings in the Netherlands were hit by the effects of online piracy as a result of the shift from physical formats to digital. However, for the last four years, trade revenue has been on the rise, and further growth is expected for this year and beyond. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA registered a seventh consecutive year of growth in joint collections, after three straight annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies edged up last year, with gains for BUMA offsetting the decline for STEMRA. A rise in domestic and international collections for producers’ and performers’ society SENA boosted total receipts for the second year in a row. The live industry experienced a positive 2018, with increases in both the number of visitors to events and revenue from ticket sales.
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