New issue of Music & Copyright with South Korea country report

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

Streaming is set to monetize music across the Middle East
The music business has, until recently, had little success selling its wares in the Middle East region. But the climate looks to have changed since the arrival of streaming services, which are proving increasingly popular with consumers. Now, the leading record companies are establishing and expanding operations across the region, mostly in alliance with local partners. The prospects look pretty good for music streaming, and operators are busy building out their libraries. However, there is a need to provide potential users with a large menu of local music, not just access to international favorites. Moreover, the key to success will be the focus on the region’s various genres, given that the many Middle East submarket audiences can have very different music tastes.

Record collections and distributions for MCSC despite lingering impact of COVID-19
Royalty collections in China have increased for the 13th consecutive year. In September, the Chinese authors’ society MCSC published its business report for 2021, confirming that total collections had topped the previous year’s record and exceeded CNY400m ($62m) for the third straight year. Distributable revenue also increased to a new record high, with the amount available for distribution above CNY300m for the third year in a row. Digital is the biggest collection source for Chinese authors ahead of background music. Both increased last year after suffering a dip in 2020. TV income also returned to growth, while radio and karaoke revenue was down.

Midyear growth for recorded-music sales in Spain, but “stagnation signals” suggest recovery is slowing
Spanish recorded-music trade association Promusicae has reported a rise in recorded-music retail sales in the first half of this year. Spending on digital formats and services increased, with both audio and video streaming registering growth. Physical sales were flat, as the rise in vinyl LP sales was offset by lower revenue from CDs. Vinyl generated higher sales than CDs for the first time in more than 30 years. While the results were largely positive overall, Promusicae expressed some concerns that the growth rate for streaming has slowed significantly over the last couple of years. Moreover, although full-year retail sales are set to record a ninth straight year of growth, the total will still be a long way short of the record set at the turn of the century.

South Korea country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed South Korea music industry report. South Korea’s recorded-music industry is widely considered the most advanced in the world. Since the turn of the century, the sector has been through a massive transformation, from being almost overrun by piracy to one that is multifaceted, with both physical and digital formats and services flourishing. One of South Korea’s unique features is the healthy position for CD album sales. The format remains popular among consumers despite the rise of digital access. Last year saw the biggest jump in CD sales, with many consumers substituting spending on live music for collectible CD releases. Sales of music subscriptions also registered healthy growth, along with trade income from advertising-supported audio and video services. Korean-produced music continues to grow in popularity worldwide, and a number of K-pop bands have scored major chart success away from their home market. Local music groups dominate recorded-music distribution, with the major labels accounting for a low market share. Last year, collections for the authors’ society KOMCA hit a new record, with total receipts increasing at the fastest rate for four years.

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