The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Difficult year for SME as UMG, WMG, and the indies make recorded-music and publishing share gains
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. Recorded-music leader UMG maintained the top spot, with an increased share of digital sales fully offsetting a decline in the company’s share of physical sales. UMG also increased the gap on second-placed SME, with the latter suffering a fall in both its digital and physical shares. WMG’s share of digital sales edged down last year, but a higher share of physical sales boosted the company’s overall recorded-music market share. A repeat of last year saw independent record companies collectively account for the biggest share. Sony was unable to repeat the record year of 2017 for music publishing, with the company suffering a dip in share. UMPG registered the highest share gain of all the major music publishers, but the collective share of the independent sector accounted for the biggest share of the music publishing pie.
GEMA sees third consecutive year of collections over €1bn
German authors’ society GEMA has reported its financial details for 2018. Although collections and distributions were unable to match the previous year’s record levels, the underlying performance was positive. Collections in 2017 were inflated by one-time payments, and the exclusion of those extras meant total income last year registered healthy growth. Public performance and broadcasting, the two biggest collection sources, recorded another year of modest growth, while digital revenue grew sharply. The private copying total more than halved, but the 2017 collection figure was inflated by extra payments, so a year-on-year comparison is not strictly accurate. Overseas income edged down, while mechanicals continued to suffer from lower sales of physical formats. Total expenses were slightly reduced, but the decrease in income meant the cost rate increased.
TikTok gets serious with music as it clocks up the hits
Short-video sharing platform TikTok has seemingly come from nowhere to garner a seriously large following among young demographics around the world. While the service does lean heavily on record companies’ existing catalogs, it has also proved adept at enabling its video “creators” to unearth offbeat atypical tracks that then get serious traction. And TikTok has recently demonstrated that it can not only break emerging artists but also serve as a platform that delivers hits in the mainstream charts. Now it is up to TikTok to take advantage of those capabilities to become a leading music discovery channel in its own right, while record companies need to put resource into the video network as part of their A&R efforts.
Canada country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Canada music industry report. Canada is one of the world’s bigger music markets. Although ever present in the top 10, the country lost a couple of places last year, slipping from seventh to ninth. Canada was overtaken by China and Australia, with those two countries registering higher year-on-year growth rates in trade sales. Recorded-music consumption levels were up last year, but the increase in trade revenue was more modest. Although streaming income continued to rise, a big slump in sales of CD albums dented the overall market performance. UMG maintained its market share lead over second-placed SME with the former gaining share and the latter suffering a decline. Canada’s live sector is thought to have registered a positive year with attendance at music events up year on year. Preliminary results from SOCAN show royalty collections were up for the sixth year in a row with the level of royalties collected and distributed breaking previous records.
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