New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

CISAC reports record year for collections, but big fall expected in 2020
CISAC has published its latest annual report on global creators’ collections. A new record for combined revenue for creators of music, audiovisual works, visual arts, drama, and literature was set last year with collections topping the €10 billion ($11.9 billion) mark for the first time. However, the main focus of the review was on the impact of COVID-19 and how the global pandemic is likely to affect this year’s results. Royalties from concerts, venues, and public performances are expected to fall by as much as 80%, with revenue from broadcasting set to shrink as much as 20%. CISAC noted that the impact of the virus is expected to remain long into 2021 and beyond. Across all repertoires, collections in 2021 will remain below the level of those in 2019, with users continuing to face payment difficulties and bankruptcies. SACEM remained the leading collective management organization (CMO) in revenue terms, with PRS for Music the latest CMO to register more than $1 billion in revenue.

California court denies Pandora anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss Flo & Eddie pre-1972 recordings claim
A California district court has denied for a second time an anti-SLAPP motion lodged by Pandora in the ongoing case brought by the artists Flo & Eddie. The music service had hoped to get the case struck off by the court after the California Supreme Court had dismissed two questions referred by the Ninth Circuit appeal court because of the timing of the enactment of the Music Modernization Act (MMA). Pandora had appealed the district court’s first dismissal of its anti-SLAPP motion and while the questions were pending, the MMA came into being. Subsequently, the Supreme Court vacated the first anti-SLAPP order, and remanded the action back to the district court to consider Pandora’s renewed anti-SLAPP motion. However, the district court again denied the anti-SLAPP motion.

Investor interest in music publishing is turning catalogs into assets
Songs no longer go for a song. Financial vehicles have taken a strong interest in music publishing catalogs, so much so that music rights have become much sought after and, some would say, very expensive assets. How expensive depends on a number of different factors, such as the ability to deliver consistent returns from synchronization deals, mechanical royalties and performance rights. However, despite the price tag, asset management firms are finding it easy to raise money to invest in these catalogs, especially as publishing rights can provide sizable revenue streams at a time of ongoing low interest rates. Valuations have gone up and are set to rise further. This is certainly a seller’s market.

France country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed France music industry report. France ended last year as the seventh biggest economy in the world and the third in Europe, behind Germany and the UK. Of Europe’s big three, France experienced the highest GDP growth rate last year, at 1.5%. However, according to the IMF’s June update to its April-published biannual World Economic Outlook report, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy will see GDP in France shrink 12.5%, the fastest rate of decline of the three. For recorded-music sales, France lags the UK and Germany. Trade sales in the country have risen for four consecutive years and may rise for a fifth if the performance in the first half of the year is repeated for the second six months and streaming gains continue to offset declines in buy-to-own formats. Digital sales overtook physical in 2018 and accounted for slightly less than two thirds of last year’s total. UMG maintained its sizable distributor lead despite a slight fall in market share. SACEM registered a fifth consecutive annual growth in collections with income topping the previous year’s record. Collections for this year are set to fall sharply due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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