New issue of Music & Copyright with Japan country report

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

Global music market set to double in value, with streaming and live the big growth providers
US investment bank Goldman Sachs has published its latest set of forecasts for the global music industry. In what can only be described as eyewatering numbers, the bank is expecting major growth for the recorded-music, music publishing, and live music sectors. Forecasts for the global total in all years have been raised from the previous estimations published 12 months ago. Streaming gains are set to boost the recorded-music and publishing totals, with growth driven by volume, price, and emerging platforms. Despite the current economic problems, Goldman Sachs believes music streaming will be able to weather any downturn. The bank also sees the digital distribution landscape as competitive, with no one service dominating. Although Spotify is the global leader, the Swedish service is set to lose market share to services currently on the up, such as YouTube Music and Tencent Music Entertainment. Live music is set for a major bounce back after almost two years of disruption, with total revenue for the sector this year almost back to prepandemic levels.

Erratic annual performance for SABAM continues, with growth at home but declining overseas income
Belgian authors’ society SABAM has reported a return to growth for collections, with several of the performance-based revenue streams improving after a year beset by COVID-19 restrictions and sector closures. Broadcasting income increased, but it was background music that recorded the biggest bounce back as receipts rose sharply. Despite the popularity of music streaming in Belgium, digital income was down. However, the dip was caused by an adjustment to previous years’ income accounted for in 2021. Live suffered a second year of tumbling collections, although the rate of decline slowed significantly. Mechanicals benefited from physical formats’ sharp rise in sales. However, the time gap between money in and money out meant distributions were down last year, as payments were based on collections made in the first year of the pandemic.

DIY music needs a dose of creativity, both from artists and distributors
The withdrawal from the do-it-yourself (DIY) music space by two music business big hitters could be taken as a sign that the independent recorded-music scene is flagging. That’s not the case, however, with the likes of TuneCore, DistroKid, and CD Baby still offering what are proving to be essential platforms for up-and-coming artists. And recent changes to pricing should make it easier for musicians to develop new release strategies that make the most of their recorded output. However, it would be great to see these services create more new features that could squeeze greater value out of recordings, as it remains just as difficult for most unsigned artists to make a living from their music.

Japan country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Japan music industry report. Of all the world’s leading recorded-music markets, Japan has arguably been the most erratic, with some sizable differences in annual performance. Looking back over the last 10 years or so, trade revenue from recorded-music sales has been inconsistent, with one or two years of growth followed by a couple of years of decline. However, despite record company income from physical formats continuing to be unpredictable, the digital sector has stabilized. Moreover, following a lengthy reliance on downloads, the subscription sector now generates around three quarters of the total digital revenue for the local industry.

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