The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Podcasts set to become a money-spinner for music streamers
Music streamers are upping their game in the podcasting space and investing increasing sums in production capabilities and original content. Podcasts have long been difficult to monetize, but the quality and diversity of output has increased significantly in the last few years, pulling in larger audiences. Listeners tend to be young and relatively more affluent, which is attracting serious advertising dollars. Streamers now need to ensure that, going forward, they don’t spoil the medium by overloading it with a surfeit of brand messaging. In addition to ads, subscriptions look likely to provide a decent secondary revenue stream, although the challenge of getting listeners to pay for what has, to date, largely been available for free is not an unsubstantial one.
Streaming gains return Swedish authors’ society STIM to collection growth
Swedish authors’ society STIM has reported a return to collection growth following a dip in rights receipts in 2020. The spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions brought in by the government to contain the virus continued to take their toll, but a jump in digital revenue more than offset all other sector declines. Digital accounted for more than half of domestic receipts for the first time, with collections boosted by a particularly good year for the ICE joint venture, which is co-owned with PRS for Music and GEMA. Also up was income from online video-on-demand (VOD) and advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) services. Broadcasting revenue was relatively flat, with linear TV benefiting from more people staying at home. However, TV receipts are expected to fall as more consumers sign up to over-the-top (OTT) services. Live music has been the worst affected sector during the pandemic. The government only removed all restrictions in February, and so collections suffered accordingly. However, all the major music festivals are set to return this year, and artist tours are proceeding after a two-year hiatus.
DICE rolls from strength to strength, from ticketing to livestreaming
Mobile ticketing company DICE has done a good job breaking into the live music sector against some powerful companies, thanks in large part to its innovative, consumer-friendly technology. It has also shown lots of ambition, having rapidly built an international operation, with further geographical expansion likely following a recent launch in the German market. DICE was also quick to see opportunity during the pandemic lockdowns with a shift into music livestreaming that has now become a serious business for the firm, especially following the acquisition of established streamer Boiler Room. The company now has a chance of becoming a decent-sized fish in this space if it demonstrates the same get-up-and-go it applied to ticketing.
Germany country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Germany music industry report. Retail sales of recorded-music in Germany increased for the third year in a row in 2021, after two years of modest decline. Continued interest in subscription and streaming has continued to offset physical formats and downloads’ steady drop off. Notable in last year’s sales figures was that access service revenue accounted for more than two-thirds of the combined physical and digital total. Digital generated more than three quarters of the retail total. Sales of physical formats were down year-on-year, but the rate of decline was lessened by a rise in sales of vinyl and gains for audiocassettes and singles. International pop was again the most popular genre but a fall in share for the leader and a rise for second-placed hip-hop/rap narrowed the gap between the top two. Collections for authors’ society GEMA returned to growth, although the total for last year fell short of returning to prepandemic levels. Ticket sales to live music events are thought to have rebounded after a tough year caused by the enforced shuttering of venues to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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