New issue of Music & Copyright with US country report

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

US music industry stakeholders breath a collective sigh of relief as the DoJ decides not to amend the consent decrees
US performing rights organizations (PROs) ASCAP and BMI can breathe a sigh of relief that the completion of the latest review by the Department of Justice (DoJ) of the consent decrees under which the PROs operate has ended with a recommendation of no changes. The previous two-year review proposed an end to fractional licensing (issuing licenses for only the percentage of compositions administered). A ruling by BMI’s rate court put an end to that proposal. This time around, the DoJ simply acknowledged that change was necessary, but stepped back from making any firm suggestions. The COVID-19 pandemic meant face-to-face meetings with stakeholders was more difficult and is likely to have weighed heavily on the DoJ’s decision to maintain the status quo. However, the DoJ did say that the consent decrees should be reviewed every five years to assess whether the they were continuing to achieve their objective of protecting competition.

Second straight year of INR1bn+ collections for IPRS
India’s authors’ society IPRS has reported a third straight year of growth for royalty collections and a new record for total income. Following on from a year that saw IPRS celebrate its 50th year in business, the authors’ society registered sharp growth in domestic receipts with the total boosted by a jump in TV broadcasting income. Radio registered the highest collection growth rate, but collections from radio broadcasters remain stymied by a legal dispute dating back eight years. Public performance income was flat year-on-year. However, the current financial year is likely to see a big fall in public performance receipts because of the impact on the live industry and the hospitality and retail sectors from COVID-19.

A good year for livestreamed music with more to come in 2021
Livestreamed music looks to have made the most out of 2020. When COVID-19 restrictions first closed down clubs, music halls, and festivals, virtual broadcast performances seemed to offer little more than comfort to a sector in shock. However, over the course of the year, artists embraced the medium in number, while the livestreamed events themselves grew in scale and scope. At the close of 2020, a series of richer streamed experiences demonstrated not only how far the format had come, but also where it was heading. There’s also opportunity for emerging artists as new, affordable products have come to market to service their needs. Livestreaming is set to become a significant part of the live music portfolio even after the pandemic.

US country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed US music industry report. The US is the biggest music market in the world. Each year the country accounts for around one third of the total global recorded-music sales and approximately 40% of spending on tickets to live music events. Furthermore, the US is home to the single biggest live music promoter, Live Nation Entertainment, as well as the two leading authors’ rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI, and the biggest performance rights organization, SoundExchange. On the not so positive side, the country boasts the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world and the spread of the virus in the country has impacted on all music industry sectors. Live music has been the hardest hit with the concert sector effectively shuttered from the second quarter of last year. Given the popularity of music streaming, consumption stats for last year have proved something of a welcome distraction with the latest figures showing last year’s recorded-music consumption total beating the previous year’s record.

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