The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Twist in termination rights case as SME countersues its accusers for secondary copyright infringement
The termination of copyright grants by artists against their music publishers and record companies became front page news recently after Kanye West took to Twitter to explain his disquiet over the relationship between artists and music companies. The rapper detailed how the system of contracts and rights ownership should work and what role publishers and record companies should have in his new order. At the same time, the termination case brought against Sony Music Entertainment (SME) has taken a new twist. Although SME is fighting claims by the accusing artists that the company is wrongfully ignoring their termination notices, SME has now made its own copyright infringement claims against the artists, accusing them of distributing the works in question without permission. SME has gone one step further and accused the artists of secondary copyright infringement.
APRA AMCOS results are the first to illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on authors’ rights
Australian authors’ society APRA AMCOS has reported a new record for rights collections. The latest figures are for the financial year ending June and although the results have inched royalty receipts closer to A$500 million ($358 million) milestone, the impact of the COVID-19 virus came into play for the final three months of the reporting period. As such, collections from public performance took a hit, along with income from TV and radio. However, combined collections from audio streaming, websites, user-generated content (UGC), and VOD services topped the A$200 million mark for the first time and just managed to offset declines elsewhere. APRA AMCOS noted that collections for the current financial year are likely to be down, particularly given that international receipts for the year to June were unaffected because of the time taken to process payments.
Three key trends to watch in the music industry’s new normal
In something of a major change of fortune, the recorded-music sector has fared much better in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic than the live industry. Despite the turnaround and success of music subscriptions, the recorded-music sector remains short of the revenue records set at the end of the last century. But growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Live music, on the other hand, had seen year-on-year growth for much of this century, but the virus pandemic has stopped the sector in its tracks. For both sectors, however, experimentation in new offerings and creativity will be key to growth, or in the live industry’s case, a return to growth. Sales of music subscriptions are slowing and so new bundle offerings with other entertainment services should attract consumers not taken with the single subscription. Live players are experimenting with in-game performance and livestreaming and the results have so far been very positive. Music & Copyright publisher Omdia has picked out three key trends that illustrate just how the selling and distribution of both recorded and live music is evolving as consumers adjust to what has become a new state of normal.
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 has experienced a sustained period of growth. In common with most developed markets in Europe, Dutch record company earnings were hit by the effects of online piracy as a result of the shift from physical formats to digital. However, for the last five years, trade revenue has been on the up and further growth is expected for this year and beyond. Digital accounted for more than 80% of the combined digital/physical trade revenue last year. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA registered an eighth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Gains for BUMA more than offset the slight decline for STEMRA. Total receipts for producers’ and performers’ society SENA were flat last year although the total invoiced increased. The live industry experienced a positive 2019 with higher revenue from ticket sales. However, of all the different music industry sectors, live has been hit the hardest from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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