New issue of Music & Copyright

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

UMG and SME put the market share squeeze on WMG and the independent sector
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 growth in its recorded-music market share, while the publishing unit UMPG saw the biggest share gain for any music publisher for more than 10 years. SME saw its total recorded-music share return to growth after three years of decline. Although Sony’s publishing share was down year-on-year, the company’s market share for total music revenue edged upwards. Smaller major WMG suffered a share fall for both recorded-music and music publishing. The independent sector also saw its recorded-music and music publishing shares edge down. Although the indie grouping remained the clear leader for publishing, recorded-music gains for UMG saw the combined indie company share slip to second spot.

Another year of rising rights collections for South Korea’s KOMCA
South Korean authors’ society KOMCA has reported a record year for collections. Given South Korea’s advanced recorded-music market, much of KOMCA’s gains in recent years have come from digital sources and last year was no exception. Digital, which overtook performance five years ago to become the collection society’s biggest revenue source, accounted for close to half of domestic receipts last year with both streaming and audiovisual registering a particularly positive 12 months. However, income from mechanical reproduction scored the highest growth with a boom in CD sales driving up the collection source. In contrast, performance revenue was down almost one third with both karaoke and live concerts suffering from measures imposed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. International income topped the previous year’s record with the popularity of K-pop boosting the overseas total.

National trade groups detail recorded-music sales with streaming and vinyl the big positives
In March, the IFPI published global recorded-music trade results for last year. Total sales, which were made up of physical and digital formats and services, performance rights, and synchronization revenue, increased 7.4%, to $21.6bn from $20.2bn in 2019. The rise, which compared with an uptick of 9.7% in 2019, marked the sixth consecutive year of growth. Since the global results were released, a number of national trade associations and retail groups have published local market figures. Although the level of detail differs between countries, all the results show a year-on-year rise in trade/retail sales with streaming the big growth provider. Most countries suffered a drop in sales of physical formats, with the size of the decline exaggerated by the impact on each countries’ retail sector from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the vinyl revival continued and, in some countries, revenue from the age-old format overtook CDs.

Indie music moves the needle in a hot Asian recorded-music market
The Chinese music market, as well as other territories in the Asia region, is attracting a lot interest from recorded-music’s big guns at the moment as revenue continues to rise. There’s also a sizable amount of focus on the independent music scene with both WMG and Merlin among those making significant plays across Asia. This is a hugely diverse region, however, and the one-size fits all strategy traditionally adopted in western markets won’t work in Asia. Local knowledge will be a key determinant of success, so the business of both hiring experienced Asian executives and allying with national independent record companies will be crucial.

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