The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
SME and WMG put the market share squeeze on UMG 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. Although UMG remained the global leader, second-placed SME closed the gap. UMG’s recorded-music share was down for the first time in more than five years with both SME and WMG registering year-on-year share gains. WMG was the only recorded-music major to register growth in its digital and physical shares. For publishing, Sony extended its lead over second-placed UMPG. All three major music publishers recorded a rise in share. The collective independent sector suffered a dip in share for both recorded-music and music publishing. However, for total music revenue, the independent sector is still the leader.
Streaming and vinyl are the big positives in national trade groups’ recorded-music figures
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, grew 18.5% to $25.9bn from $21.9bn in 2020. The rise, which compared with an uptick of 7.2% in 2020, marked the seventh consecutive year of growth. Since the global results were released, several 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 and vinyl the biggest growth providers. Unusually, most countries registered a growth in sales of physical formats, with revenue from vinyl and CDs rising year-on-year. Similarly, for the countries that included details of performance rights and synchronization, revenue was positive after some sharp declines in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How avatar artists are gaming those virtual performances
An ever-increasing number of artists are transforming themselves into avatars able to perform in fast-developing digital worlds. This gives them the ability to express themselves in a wide range of fantastical experiences that appeal to younger audiences already immersed in, and engaged with, virtual worlds following years of online gaming. Record company majors are looking to get onboard this trend and are planning to convert their artist rosters into hordes of musical avatars. And while virtual concerts are a great way of reaching huge numbers of viewers and of exposing often young audiences to new artists and new music, they also represent a huge opportunity to sell a large amount of digital merchandise that can deliver serious value-add to performances.
Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry report. Following two consecutive years of contraction, recorded-music trade sales in Brazil have now risen for five years in a row. Despite COVID-19 affecting performance rights and synchronization in 2020, streaming gains more than offset the declines. Last year saw the two affected sectors return to growth, with streaming sales boosted by subscription uptake and growth in advertising. Last year, umbrella rights organization ECAD reported an increase in collections after the pandemic took a bite out of public performance revenue in 2020. However, distributions were down for the second year in a row.
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