New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil report

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

SME and WMG put the market share squeeze on UMG and the independent sector
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. Although UMG remained the global leader, second-placed SME closed the gap. UMG’s recorded-music share was down for the first time in more than five years with both SME and WMG registering year-on-year share gains. WMG was the only recorded-music major to register growth in its digital and physical shares. For publishing, Sony extended its lead over second-placed UMPG. All three major music publishers recorded a rise in share. The collective independent sector suffered a dip in share for both recorded-music and music publishing. However, for total music revenue, the independent sector is still the leader.

Streaming and vinyl are the big positives in national trade groups’ recorded-music figures
In March, the IFPI published global recorded-music trade results for last year. Total sales, which were made up of physical and digital formats and services, performance rights, and synchronization revenue, grew 18.5% to $25.9bn from $21.9bn in 2020. The rise, which compared with an uptick of 7.2% in 2020, marked the seventh consecutive year of growth. Since the global results were released, several national trade associations and retail groups have published local market figures. Although the level of detail differs between countries, all the results show a year-on-year rise in trade/retail sales, with streaming and vinyl the biggest growth providers. Unusually, most countries registered a growth in sales of physical formats, with revenue from vinyl and CDs rising year-on-year. Similarly, for the countries that included details of performance rights and synchronization, revenue was positive after some sharp declines in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How avatar artists are gaming those virtual performances
An ever-increasing number of artists are transforming themselves into avatars able to perform in fast-developing digital worlds. This gives them the ability to express themselves in a wide range of fantastical experiences that appeal to younger audiences already immersed in, and engaged with, virtual worlds following years of online gaming. Record company majors are looking to get onboard this trend and are planning to convert their artist rosters into hordes of musical avatars. And while virtual concerts are a great way of reaching huge numbers of viewers and of exposing often young audiences to new artists and new music, they also represent a huge opportunity to sell a large amount of digital merchandise that can deliver serious value-add to performances.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry report. Following two consecutive years of contraction, recorded-music trade sales in Brazil have now risen for five years in a row. Despite COVID-19 affecting performance rights and synchronization in 2020, streaming gains more than offset the declines. Last year saw the two affected sectors return to growth, with streaming sales boosted by subscription uptake and growth in advertising. Last year, umbrella rights organization ECAD reported an increase in collections after the pandemic took a bite out of public performance revenue in 2020. However, distributions were down for the second year in a row.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil country report

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

European Court of Justice rules on ageing cases with outdated copyright legislation
Despite the liability of online platforms changing in Europe following the passing of the copyright directive in 2019, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has made a ruling based on years old legislation in two long-running joined cases referred to the Court by the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice). The German court asked for clarification on the position of online video service YouTube and the upload and file hosting platform Uploaded with regards to the uploading of protected works by users to the services. The CJEU decided that under the old EU law, YouTube and Uploaded were not directly liable for any illegal uploads as they only acted as intermediary services. Also, the services were eligible for exemption from liability as they played no active role in the uploaded contents’ distribution.

Across the board fall in collections for Swedish authors’ society STIM
Swedish authors’ society STIM has reported a dip in rights receipts and distributable revenue for last year. The spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions brought in by the government to contain the virus took their toll on collections. Back payments and adjustments to prior year income totals also affected the overall performance. Actual online and new media service receipts were down last year, but STIM noted in its annual report that the sector registered underlying growth. Live music suffered the biggest decline with festivals and tours cancelled for most of last year. Furthermore, the slow return to live performance will dent live collections for this year also. Overseas income registered a similar rate of decline to domestic collections. However, payment levels from sister societies are likely to get worse before they get better due to administration and processing delays.

Uncertainty and confusion reigns as the live sector gears up to global restart
Live music businesses around the world are facing up to another tough year with new variants of the COVID-19 virus threatening to push up infection rates. Many festivals planned for the northern-hemisphere summer are on a knife edge as governments are forced to react to fast-changing conditions. Furthermore, with insurance policies highly unlikely to provide financial cover, a good number of events may well face the challenge of having to cling on until 2022 before they can once again stage full-blown live experiences. A good number of live-music events are insisting that fans are either vaccinated or can show negative test results, though that strategy has not gone down well with anti-vaccination/lockdown activists, especially in the US, which is another concern for organizers. To survive, the sector really needs government support, something that has so far been badly lacking in a number of markets.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry report. Following two consecutive years of contraction, retail sales of recorded-music in Brazil have risen for four years in a row. Given the impact of COVID-19 on performance rights and synchronization, all the growth in 2020 came from streaming. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported a fall in collections with the virus taking a bite out of public performance revenue. Distributions were also down year-on-year. Just how bad COVID-19 has been on the live sector in Brazil is evident in the financial results of local events promoter Time For Fun. The shutdown of live performance caused a collapse in revenue last year with little prospect of a turnaround in fortunes any time soon.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil country report

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

Tencent makes its assets sing in the global music business
China’s Tencent Holdings is building an impressive portfolio of entertainment assets, including stakes in recorded-music companies, in its home market, in Asia, and in Western markets. The technology giant certainly has global ambitions, and music sits at the heart of its entertainment empire. Interestingly, Tencent, which is on one long acquisitions spree right now, has been successful in monetizing music content in China—no mean feat—and is seeking to squeeze even more value out of the segment by combining it with its significant social media and gaming operations. Always quick to spot opportunities, Tencent has been using the dearth in live music performances due to COVID-19 to launch a live-streamed concert business. The group is well on track to becoming a major global music industry player.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé accused of copyright infringement over Black Effect intro vocal
Rapper Jay-Z, his performer wife Beyoncé, and company BJC Touring are being sued for copyright infringement, a violation of publicity rights, and unjust enrichment by a Jamaican choreographer who claims she was duped into providing a vocal that was used on the track Black Effect. The track was included on the Jay-Z/Beyoncé collaboration album Everything is Love, which was released in June 2018 and went on to achieve commercial success. The choreographer said in the court filing that she was required to sign an agreement to provide services to the defendants without having any legal counsel check over the agreement. Also, the use of the vocal was supposed to be limited to a promotional video but found its way on to the track without permission or credit.

Washington district court grants Amazon motion to dismiss copyright infringement claims
A district court in Washington has dismissed copyright infringement claims made by the heirs of three US authors against the online retail giant Amazon. The heirs had claimed that Amazon was part of an unlicensed process to make available numerous classic works by the authors. Although Amazon did not source the recordings, a separate company pulled together the tracks and through a distributor, made the albums available for sales through Amazon’s download store. Amazon filed a motion to dismiss the authors’ claims and the in June the court granted Amazon’s request. In a published opinion, the judge in the case decided that for a copyrighted work to be considered as distributed as defined by section 106 of the US Copyright Act, actual dissemination of the work must have taken place, rather than simply placing the work in a store for purchase.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry report. Following two consecutive years of contraction, retail sales of recorded-music in Brazil have risen for three years in a row. Streaming, and to a much lesser extent vinyl and synchronization, were the growth drivers with income from access services more than offsetting a collapse in sales of physical formats as well as a dip in performance rights. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported a return to growth for collections and distributions following a decline in 2018. Brazilian events promoter Time For Fun (T4F) registered a big fall in revenue from live music promotion in the first quarter of this year due the shutdown of the live performance sector.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil country report

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

Damaging accusations against two of the music industry’s biggest players make June a month to forget
The music industry is on the up at the moment. After enduring a long period of falling sales, the success of music streaming has returned the sector to growth. Music publishing is also benefiting from consumers’ willingness to access music rather than buy it. In an effort to keep the streaming train on track, some of the biggest players have come together to create a best-practice code to prevent stream manipulation, or the artificial inflation of streams served by underhand means. The creation of the code came in the same month that two of the music industry’s biggest players have been criticized for the way they have acted toward authors and artists. The NMPA in the US took a pot shot at Spotify after the streaming service said it wanted to claw back royalty overpayments to publishers based on new royalty rates that Spotify was appealing against. UMG has come in for major criticism over the way it handled the loss of master recordings that were destroyed in a fire 10 years ago.

Music goes DIY, but unsigned artists still need business savvy to make it big
The digital age and social media have proved a boon to DIY music. Thousands of unsigned artists have been able to break through initially online and sell their output through a raft of web-based stores. And the independent music sector continues to grow apace as a result. Myriad services have been developed to support unknown artists, either by enabling widespread digital distribution and royalty collection, or by helping provide crowdfunded finance. However, musicians can’t rely 100% on such platforms to always come up with the goods on the business side of the music industry. Some commercial nous and commitment are required, as it always has been, to make it big.

Both AKM and Austro Mechana see growth in collections
Austrian authors’ society AKM maintained its unbroken streak of collection growth last year, a trend that dates back more than 10 years. The collection society reported an increase in all of its main domestic revenue sources. Furthermore, overseas receipts were also up year on year. In a repeat of 2017, digital recorded the highest growth rate for AKM. However, despite the rise, digital remains a minor revenue source for Austrian rights holders. Public performance is the authors’ society’s biggest income source, followed by live music and TV. AKM subsidiary Austro Mechana (AUME) also reported higher revenue last year, with most of the growth coming from private copying. Backdated private-copying payments have been a big factor in AUME’s revenue in the last few years. However, excluding AUME’s biggest revenue source, total income for the collection society was still up year on year.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry report. Following two consecutive years of contraction, trade earnings from recorded music in Brazil have risen for two years in a row. Streaming was the sole growth driver, with income from access services more than offsetting a big drop in sales of physical formats as well as a dip in performance rights and lower revenue from synchronization. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported a fall in collections and distributions last year, following two years of growth. Brazilian events promoter Time For Fun (T4F) registered a positive final three months of last year but an overall dip in revenue for the 12 months.

If you would like more information about the newsletter or set up a subscription, then send us an email

New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil country report

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

Streaming the big positive for UMG and SME in latest financial results
French media company Vivendi and electronics giant Sony Corp. have reported financial details for their respective music subsidiaries, UMG and SME. Although revenue gains at reported rates for UMG in the first half of this year were affected due to the strength of the euro against the dollar, at constant rates UMG’s performance was positive. Recorded-music income benefited from the continued growth in streaming and subscriptions and more than offset the drop in revenue from physical formats. Publishing saw growth in the six-month period, while income from merchandising suffered a year-on-year decline. Sony also reported positive streaming results for SME in the first quarter of its 2018 financial year, although it was music publishing that registered the biggest sector rise for the company. Sony upped its revenue and operating income forecast for the current financial year for SME. However, the company is still forecasting a fall in both for the full year.

Record collections for UACRR despite ongoing collection society accreditation chaos
Ukrainian authors’ society UACRR has reported a big rise in royalty collections and distributions to its author and publisher members. Revenue from theaters, the society’s biggest income source, grew for the third consecutive year, but the biggest boost to overall growth came from live collections and TV receipts. Live collections benefited from tours from international artists, including Sting and Depeche Mode, while TV receipts benefited from the signing of a broadcast licensing agreement with the broadcast group 1+1 Media. The positive results from UACRR came despite little change to the country’s disorderly collective administrative system. The administration process was thrown into chaos in 2013 when a court order invalidated the accreditation system. Currently, there are 18 competing societies, many of which provide licenses for music use below market rates.

HDS ZAMP reports new record for collections and distributions
Croatian authors’ society HDS ZAMP has reported another record-breaking year for royalty collections and distributions, with both domestic and international receipts registering growth. A modest rise in costs meant the total cost-to-revenue ratio was down for the seventh consecutive year. With the exception of the events sector, all of the main public performance sectors saw higher collections. General licensing was the biggest source of revenue, ahead of TV. There was no repeat of the 2016 rise in phonomechanicals due to lower sales of physical formats in Croatia. However, higher private copying income meant the total for mechanicals was almost unchanged. Digital receipts remain low despite the rise in consumer uptake of music-streaming services.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry report. Following two consecutive years of contraction, trade earnings from recorded music in Brazil grew sharply in 2017. Higher trade sales of digital formats and a rise in performance rights easily offset a more than halving of revenue from sales of physical formats. Umbrella rights organizations reported a second straight year of growth after a first fall for more than 10 years. Brazilian events promoter Time For Fun (T4F) reported a fall in revenue for its 2017 fiscal year. However, a higher occupancy rate per show in live music boosted revenue for the first quarter of this year.

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New issue of Music & Copyright

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

Brexit and the implications for the UK music copyright sector
As the world comes to terms with the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU), many in the music industry are figuring out what “Brexit” will mean to them. Stakeholders across the industry have voiced their surprise at the result as well as concern about its potential impact, but they have also expressed a willingness to not let the referendum result affect what has long been a multinational business sector. According to EU rules, the UK has two years to untangle itself from the various EU institutions. This means that although little will change in the short term, UK rights holders face uncertainty once negotiators on both sides start poring over the finer details of Brexit.

Combined BUMA and STEMRA collections up for the fourth consecutive year
Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA have reported a fourth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies grew at an increased rate last year, with gains reported in both performance and mechanical rights. Strong growth in streaming in the Netherlands resulted in a sharp rise in digital collections for BUMA. However, digital remains a small source of revenue for authors and publishers in the country. STEMRA’s income benefitted from a big jump in private copying remuneration following changes in rates and the extension of fees to e-readers.

Where have the courts left us with music copyright?
Typically, when cases involving music are brought before the courts, the trials revolve around one of two rights: either the copyright in the song itself (i.e. the musical score and the lyrics) or the copyright in the actual recording of the song (i.e. cases involving sampling of the recording). A number of music cases recently have involved both types of copyright and have shown that where there’s a right, there’s a fight – especially when significant cash is at stake. In this article, Luke Hill, intellectual property lawyer at Marks & Clerk, examines some recent copyright cases both in Europe and the US, to explain how the law is developing and assess the implications for artists and rights holders.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry profile. Following four straight years of growth, trade earnings from recorded music in Brazil edged down last year. Revenue from digital sales and services more than offset a fall in sales of physical formats, but the drop in performance rights income meant total Brazilian record company earnings contracted for the first time since 2010. Despite the overall decline, there were positive developments in the subscription sector, with trade earnings from the likes of Deezer, Napster, and Spotify almost trebling. Moreover, combined income from subscriptions and advertising is now the biggest revenue source for Brazilian record companies, overtaking the previous favorite, CDs. UMG held on to the leading position it gained from SME in 2013, but local independent Som Livre registered the biggest market share gains in 2015. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported its first decrease in collections this century, blaming difficult trading conditions. Brazilian events promoter Time For Fun (T4F) reported a flat 2015 for sales but began 2016 with a doubling of revenue in the first three months, a record for a single quarter.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil country report

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

Music Piracy: No longer headline news, but the problem persists with big brand support
The fifth annual survey by Music & Copyright of online music distribution through unauthorized music sites and services has found little change to the status quo. Although the number of sites that are now blocked by ISPs around the world continues to rise, so does the number of sites offering unlicensed content. Moreover, blue-chip companies and media-content services are still unwittingly supporting the sites through advertising placements. In a recurring theme, most companies notified of the presence of advertising on pirate sites stated a willingness to have their adverts removed but offered little assurance that dealing with misplaced advertising would become a high priority. There are a number of ongoing initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers of misplaced advertising, but the size of the task in hand provides little in the way of optimism that the situation will change any time soon.

SIAE reports flat year for Italian live entertainment in 2014
The Italian live events sector experienced a flat 2014 according to new figures published by the Italian authors’ society SIAE. Although box office receipts edged up slightly, total attendance at events was down. The sectors with the best results were exhibitions and shows, travelling shows and amusements, sports and theater. A decrease in the number of live music shows staged resulted in a fall in box office receipts and total turnover for the sector.

Music start-ups take digital to the next level
Digital innovation has opened up innumerable opportunities for music industry start-ups, which are often able to operate on a shoestring from a founder’s garage until they grab the attention of Silicon Valley’s VCs. While the likes of Spotify and Pandora operate in the limelight, a huge number of outfits develop their often groundbreaking services in the wings, developing new apps, running live music operations, or promoting emerging artists. But some of these startups have become good-sized businesses in their own rights and are starting to interest record companies, artists, and brands.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry profile. Trade revenue from recorded music in Brazil increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2014 with higher digital sales more than offsetting a decline in physical format sales. Record company earnings from music streaming rose sharply and accounted for just over half the digital total. UMG held on to the leading position it gained from SME in 2013 despite suffering a slight fall in market share. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported growth in royalty collections and distributions in 2014. Difficult trading conditions impacted on the performance of the country’s biggest live music promoter Time for Fun in 2014. However, the company started this year well with a big rise in ticket sales and events promoted.

If you want to know more about Music & Copyright then follow the below links.

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.