Category: Collection societies

New issue of Music & Copyright with UK country report

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

BMI wins the latest royalty battle in the ongoing rate dispute with Pandora
A New York rate court has decided that US online radio service Pandora must pay BMI, the performing rights organization (PRO), 2.5% of revenue for the use of authors’ and music publishers’ content. In making its decision, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York decided that the rate proposed by BMI was reasonable, despite being at the low end of what BMI had hoped for. However, the rate is still higher that the 1.85% rate Pandora pays to ASCAP. That rate was affirmed by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals in April after ASCAP had appealed a 2014 rate court decision. Previously, Pandora had paid BMI 1.75% of revenue and so, with the online radio service expected to generate around $1bn in revenue this year, the increased royalty payment to BMI could be as high as $75m. Pandora, which ended March with 79.2 million users, has said it will appeal the New York rate court decision.

Public performance gains return Czech authors’ society OSA to growth in 2014
Czech authors’ society OSA has reported a return to growth in royalty collections in 2014 after a slight dip in 2013. Despite a fall in broadcasting income and earnings from abroad, record collections from both public performance and digital boosted the authors’ society’s revenue to a new high. A good year for OSA also included a fall in costs and a subsequent decrease in costs as a share of collections, as well as a rise in distributions to its members.

Growth for all the major music groups in 1Q15
With UMG the last of the three major music companies to publish financial details for the first three months of 2015, a comparison of their respective performances reveals all of the companies posted year-on-year growth. Previous year-on-year comparisons of the three companies’ recorded music and music publishing sectors have been distorted by company acquisitions and sell-offs, and exchange rate fluctuations. However, with most dealings completed more than a year ago, the only major influencing factor in first quarter comparisons was exchange rates. Factoring in fluctuating current rates suggests that all three majors have got off to a good start in 2015. There are, however, still nagging doubts as to whether 2015 will be the year that the recorded music sector as a whole posts positive gains, and whether music publishing can register another year of growth.

On the Radar: BackBeat Solutions
A new “on the radar” section in Music & Copyright begins with a look at BackBeat Solutions, a company that provides pre-packaged deal management, royalties accounting, multi-platform publishing, and content services. It has a client portfolio in Europe and the US comprising tier-two music labels and music publishers. Founder Chris Chambers’ long association with the music licensing area has helped it secure projects for BMG Chrysalis, Fintage House, and Imagem Music Publishing.

UK country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed UK music industry profile. Optimism about a return to longer-term recorded music growth in the UK was quickly extinguished with the publication of last year’s trade results. Three straight years of decline ended in 2013 with a rise in trade revenue. However, recorded music sales slipped back again in 2014 with the rising income from streaming services unable to match the drop in downloads and CD album sales. The UK may well register growth again this year though as streaming increases in popularity. Royalty collections matched the recorded music decline last year with PRS for Music registering its first rights contraction since 2010. A rise in broadcast, digital, and public performance collections could not fully offset the fall in overseas income and mechanicals. The live sector remains strong, although research suggests small venues are under considerable pressure, both financially and regulatory.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with China country report

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

European Commission sets out its 16-point plan for the Digital Single Market
The European Commission has published details of how it intends to create a Digital Single Market in the region. The new plan sets out a number of targeted actions to be delivered by the end of 2016. The plan is separated into three specific areas aimed at providing better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe, creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish, and maximizing the growth potential of the digital economy. Of particular interest to the music industry are the Commission’s plans to end geoblocking and its legislative proposals for a new copyright law aimed at reducing the differences between national copyright regimes. Continue reading

New issue of Music & Copyright with global market share details

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

Recorded music market share gains for WMG in 2014, Sony/ATV is the publishing leader
The annual survey by Ovum publication Music & Copyright of the recorded music and music publishing sectors has revealed changes in global market shares of the three major music groups. Recorded music leader UMG lost market share in 2014, mainly as a result of the sale of the Parlophone Label Group (PLG) to WMG in 2013, which formed part of EMI Recorded Music acquisition requirements. UMG’s loss was WMG’s gain and the smallest of the three majors narrowed the gap on second-placed SME. Sony/ATV held its lead in music publishing, but the collective share of the independent publishing sector was the highest overall. Continue reading

Has the music industry forgiven Justin Timberlake for his MySpace links and accusations of artist exploitation?

myspace_2452447bDepending on where a musician sits in the music industry value chain, a top-10 list of what’s most important to an unsigned artist will differ greatly to one compiled by a million-album seller. Scratching a living out of music is something tens of thousands of musicians do every day. Although the Internet has opened up the promotion and distribution of music to anyone with a computer, it has also made selling music a lot more difficult as almost every single release in a digital-music store is available for free somewhere online. Continue reading

Is repertoire fragmentation the new enemy of digital-music services in Europe?

Last year the European Commission introduced new proposals for a directive on the collective management of copyright and multiterritory licensing of music. The proposals, which target collection-society transparency and the efficient working of digital-distribution businesses in Europe, are working their way through a series of committees. After that, they must be agreed upon by the European Parliament and European Council of Ministers.

What the directive will not do is interfere with the way music publishers administer their rights. All of the major publishers and a number of independents have withdrawn the rights to certain repertoire for licensing on a multiterritorial basis. Some see these moves as a step towards the creation of a new form of fragmentation, one based on repertoire, rather than national borders. Publishers have long claimed that withdrawing certain repertoire rights streamlines the licensing process. However, music ownership can involve multiple publishers and therefore digital services that want to provide an all-encompassing offering still need to sign more licensing deals than the number of countries they operate in. Continue reading

A short history of the music industry: different formats, familiar names but the same old problems

M&C coverIn the past 20 years or so, all sectors of the music industry have been through massive change. Format transitions, company consolidation and greater scrutiny of copyright and licensing have changed the industry beyond all recognition. But have the changes made for industry improvements, and more important, have the main players learned from their mistakes? The recent discovery of the first issues of Music & Copyright has allowed for a unique look at just how much certain things have changed, and how much they haven’t.

The newsletter’s 20-year anniversary came and went in September, but thanks to a long-standing subscriber, copies of the first 24 issues published have been found and make for interesting reading. Despite containing names that have either long since left the music industry or been swallowed up as part of industry consolidation, the headlines for a number of news stories resonate closely with happenings today. Continue reading

Why emerging markets are taking center stage in international digital-service rollouts

Toward the end of last year, Deezer and iTunes extended their footprints to include several countries that are often considered emerging markets. The growth of broadband Internet use around the world, providing access to a wealth of unauthorized recorded music, has made life difficult for new digital-service rollouts. But with the balance of economic power expected to shift away from the current leaders, is now the time for the emerging markets to start living up to their name? Continue reading