New issue of Music & Copyright with US report

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

New CMA study to shine an investigative spotlight on the UK streaming market
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the nonministerial government department in charge of competition issues in the country, has published details of a study it has launched to examine the workings of the music streaming market. Under the CMA spotlight will be the roles played by record labels and music streaming services and how well the market is working for consumers. As part of its assessment, the CMA will consider whether innovation is being stifled and if any companies hold excessive power. While focusing on potential harm to consumers, the CMA will also assess whether any lack of competition between music companies could impact on musicians, performers, and authors. Industry stakeholders have been invited to submit comments on a number of key issues by mid-February. The market study report will be published by the end of January next year at the latest.

Spotify backs Joe Rogan after Neil Young labels the service a damaging force for misinformation
Following a Joe Rogan podcast that aired controversial opinions on COVID-19 and the rollout of vaccinations, rock veteran Neil Young called on Spotify, exclusive host of the podcast, to pull Rogan from the service. Although the music streaming service decided to reinforce its platform rules and add a content advisory label to any podcast episodes that include a discussion about COVID-19, Young was not satisfied and so pulled his music from the platform. Although a small number of other artists have followed suit in support, no snowball effect has taken place. Moreover, none of the most popular artists on the service have commented publicly on the fallout or offered support to the dissenters. Spotify’s share price took a knock from the furor for much of January but rallied at the end of the month after the service published its platform rules and Rogan posted a video on Instagram explaining his reasons behind the content included in the podcast.

Music streamer Anghami eying opportunities outside of MENA
Anghami has done a good job developing music streaming services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), in the process becoming the largest provider in the region. The company has just completed its stock exchange listing in New York, raising capital to feed ambitions that include developing a new record company together with SME and building a string of new music venues and recording studios across MENA, as well as internationally. Anghami now needs to boost revenue, and to achieve that it has go beyond the string of partnerships it has in place with mobile operators that has helped it build a strong streaming position. Given the low level of credit card use in the region, maybe the company could join forces with a fintech to help develop an innovative—and lucrative—payments solution.

Detailed 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 US boasts the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, and the spread of the virus in the country since early 2020 has impacted, to varying degrees, all music industry sectors. Live music has been the hardest hit with the concert sector shuttered for most of 2020 and large parts of 2021. Given the popularity of music streaming, consumption stats for the last couple of years have proved something of a welcome distraction, with the latest figures showing last year’s recorded-music consumption total topping the previous year’s record.

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