The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
UMG increases recorded-music market share lead, indies enhance publishing dominance
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. In a repeat of the last review, UMG enhanced its position as the global leader. The company registered gains in both digital and physical market shares, while the publishing unit UMPG saw its share rise. Second-placed SME had a flat year for digital but lost share overall because of a dip in the company’s physical format share. For publishing, Sony’s share was down for the second consecutive year. Smaller major WMG saw its digital share rise but the overall recorded-music performance was unchanged year-on-year because of a dip in the company’s physical share. The independent sector had a mixed year with a fall in its digital recorded share more than offsetting a slight rise in the physical share. The sector enhanced its publishing dominance with a second straight year of share growth.
PRS for Music reports record year but warns of difficult times ahead
UK authors’ society PRS for Music has reported a record year for royalty collections and distributions. Despite a flat year for international income, the three main domestic revenue sources of public performance, broadcasting, and digital all registered growth. The continued shift in recorded-music sales in the UK from ownership to access boosted streaming revenue. Digital overtook broadcasting in 2018 to become the second biggest domestic income source, and last year’s rise closed the gap on leading source public performance. Distributions to PRS members benefitted from sharp growth in public performance payouts while international distributions were inflated by backlog payouts and settlements related to prior periods. Inevitably, collections for this year will be greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. PRS noted that public performance and international income will be hardest hit but said it was too early to say how big the financial impact will be.
Early moves to break the live lockdown illustrate the difficulties in a return to performance
The live music sector has been completely devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in those markets that are seemingly past their peak infection, governments are gradually relaxing social-distancing measures and are drawing up schemes to enable live entertainment events to return. But the restrictions that look set to be placed on small music venues and festivals alike will financially hamstring them and strangle any large-scale renaissance. That means alternatives will need to be found to enable operators to survive. Already we are seeing how some sector players are falling back on older infrastructure in order to enable live performances before paying audiences, while others are leaning on innovative technological platforms to reimagine the concert. It may well take a good many makeshift solutions to get through 2020 in any kind of shape to return to better days, perhaps next year.
Finland country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Finland music industry report. Finland is one of Europe’s smaller countries. Despite having a land area rivalling the region’s leaders, the population of Finland ended last year at just 5.5 million. In recorded-music terms, Finland sits just outside of the global top 20. However, despite its modest standing, the country is a market leader with regards to progress in the digital transition from ownership to access. Subscription services already generate close to 80% of combined digital/physical trade income and this share is expected to continue rising as sales of the once-dominant CD album drop away and downloads disappear.
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