New issue of Music & Copyright with Australia country report

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

Record companies look to benefit from the music industry disruptors
Record companies are not renowned for embracing new technologies – quite the opposite, in fact – but right now they seem eager to get much closer to tech start-ups to tap into their expertise. The music sector has realized the need to engage with likely technology disruptors at an early stage as a means of obtaining a degree of control over the way innovations are used, as well as of extracting value from start-ups that may well be worth billions of dollars in just a few years’ time. The real challenge is deciding just which technologies and entrepreneurs to invest in.

Digital gains boost global creators’ rights collections to record high
Global royalties for creators have topped the previous year’s record, according to the latest report published by CISAC. Total royalties collected by the organization’s 123 country-based 239 member societies grew for the third consecutive year and exceeded the €9bn ($10.5bn) mark for the first time. CISAC says revenue from digital uses of all repertoires has nearly tripled since 2012, driven largely by streaming subscription services. However, the report notes that digital collections are still held back by poor returns from video streaming services. Europe was the source of more than half of global collections, with music maintaining the tradition of accounting for the vast majority of creators’ income. In addition to music, audiovisual and literary collections were up year-on-year, while dramatic and visual arts revenue both fell.

BUMA STEMRA publishes delayed accounts amid calls for greater transparency
Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA have reported a fifth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies edged up last year, with gains in performance collections just offsetting a drop in mechanical rights income. Continued strong growth in streaming in the Netherlands resulted in a positive year for digital collections for BUMA. However, digital remains a small source of revenue for authors and publishers in the country. STEMRA’s income suffered a big fall in private copying remuneration, after the previous year’s total was inflated by changes in rates and the extension of fees to e-readers. The publication of last year’s accounts was delayed by several months after an audit uncovered several financial irregularities.

Australia country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Australia music industry report. The Australian recorded-music industry has shown some real signs that it is heading toward the end of what has been a long period of falling sales. Consumer interest in music streaming and subscriptions is strong, and access services have almost single-handedly boosted overall recorded-music trade earnings to two straight years of growth. In contrast to the recorded-music sector, royalty collections in Australia have risen year after year with authors’ society APRA AMCOS experiencing consecutive annual collection increases on the back of strong gains in digital income. Australia’s somewhat erratic live music industry registered growth last year after a decline in 2015. However, spending on tickets to live concerts and contemporary music festivals suffered a decline.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Australia country report

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

Secondary-ticketing services thrive on the back of unique live-market economics
Media exposés and government investigations in some European countries have brought the thorny issue of secondary ticketing to the fore of music news reporting in the last month or so. Police in Italy are investigating two prominent promoters after a local TV program exposed a number of shady dealings, while a government committee in the UK questioned representatives of leading secondary-ticketing services over their business practices. However, despite the unpopularity of ticket resale services, few countries in Europe have gone as far as outlawing the practice and restricting services’ operations. In some cases, laws and regulations are not being enforced, and resellers are making huge profits at the expense of consumers. Most live-industry stakeholders would like to do away with secondary ticketing altogether, but while tickets to big events are continually sold way below market value, some believe that the problem of ticket resale is one of the live industry’s own making.

Court filing sheds light on the Flo & Eddie SiriusXM pre-1972 sound recordings settlement
In November, a joint notice filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California by artists Flo & Eddie and satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM stated that the two parties had reached an out-of-court settlement in the long-running dispute over the payment of performance royalties for the broadcast of songs fixed in copyright before February 1972. Now, the artists and broadcaster have filed a joint motion for preliminary approval of the agreement. The filing details the potential payments SiriusXM might be required to make based on the outcomes of pending state court appeals. The case dates back to 2013, when Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, founding members of 1960s group The Turtles who later became known as Flo & Eddie, accused SiriusXM of copyright infringement on the grounds that the broadcaster played their tracks without holding a license to do so.

Japan heading for flat year despite big rise in subscription revenue
Figures published by Japanese recorded-music trade association the RIAJ show that digital music sales for the first nine months of the year grew year-on-year at a faster rate in 2016 than in the same period of 2015. A big jump in trade earnings from subscriptions more than offset lower year-on-year sales of all unit downloads. Subscriptions are now the biggest digital revenue source for Japanese record companies, though combined sales of single tracks and albums still account for more than half of the online digital total. Despite the positive digital sales, the continued dominance of physical formats means the overall wellbeing of the country’s recorded-music sector is still largely determined by the performance of the CD album. Given that the RIAJ reported a decline in the production value of physical formats in the first nine months of this year, Japan looks to heading for a year of contraction.

Australia country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Australia music industry report. The Australian recorded-music industry has shown signs that it is heading toward the end of what has been a long period of falling sales. Consumer interest in music streaming and subscriptions is strong and almost single-handedly boosted overall recorded-music trade earnings to growth in 2015. However, the country looked to have turned the corner in 2012, with record company income from digital sales fully countering the drop in CD album sales. But trade revenue contracted in the two subsequent years. In contrast to the recorded-music sector, royalty collections in Australia have been on the up for several years, with authors’ society APRA AMCOS experiencing consecutive annual collection increases on the back of strong gains in digital income. Australia’s somewhat erratic live music industry suffered a decline last year after two years of rising ticket sales and attendance.

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