New issue of Music & Copyright with Italy country report

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

Digital gains are set to boost music revenue, but publishing growth is on track to outshine recorded-music
All the world’s major recorded-music markets and one or two other smaller ones have published midyear trade figures. Music & Copyright’s annual assessment of the results suggests global recorded-music trade earnings from the sale of physical and digital recorded-music and income from music access services are set to register an eighth straight year of growth. However, the size of the rise is expected to be around half the growth rate seen last year. Music publishing is forecast to experience a bumper year, with global revenue expected to hit record levels. All the main publishing revenue streams will increase, but digital will be the star performer. Also, performance income will return to growth after three consecutive years of decline.

Polish authors’ society ZAiKS reports a year of hope in challenging times
Polish authors’ society ZAiKS has confirmed a return to growth in collections having reported its first fall in rights receipts in 2020 for five years. Total revenue in that year suffered from the effects of the government’s efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with performance-based income streams hit the hardest. While the virus still impacted some collection sources, public performance receipts rose sharply, with big increases in revenue from online and private copying. Broadcasting income was up year on year, although the revenue source as a share of total receipts was down slightly. Digital registered another jump in collections, with income benefiting from the continued rise in the popularity of streaming in Poland. Distributions took a tumble, while costs were flat and the society’s administration rate was down.

The time is right for music to make its gaming play
The music business is becoming ever more enmeshed with the world of gaming. One of the leading protagonists is Amazon through its Amazon Music and Twitch gaming properties that the e-commerce and online giant is increasingly deploying as part of its cross-entertainment strategy. On the gaming side, Epic Games’ Fortnite title has been something of a pioneer in bringing music performances to large audiences of gamers—and it has ambitious plans to remain on the front line. Also in the mix is Spotify, which this year became the first music streamer to make moves on Fortnite. What’s needed now is something more innovative than the in-game concert—and immersive customization could be the vital component here.

Italy country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Italy music industry report. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy’s recorded-music sector had experienced an erratic few years, largely due to the lingering dominance of physical formats. However, digital trade sales overtook physical formats in 2018, with a sharp rise in subscription sales more than offsetting falls in CD album sales and vinyl. The pattern of sales continued into 2019, but the toll on physical formats and performance rights in 2020 resulted in a flat year overall. Last year saw sales bounce back strongly, and so far this year, the gains from streaming and viny have continued. UMG remains the clear leader in market share terms, ahead of SME and WMG. All the majors took share from the independent sector. After suffering a sharp fall in collections in 2020, revenue for the local authors’ society SIAE returned to growth in 2021. However, the total remains a long way short of prepandemic levels. Ticket sales to live music events picked up in 2021, but it will take another few years before sales top the record highs of 2019.

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