The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Music-for-business providers need to play harder to cut through
Supplying music to stores and eateries and the like could be a highly lucrative activity for the recorded-music industry and for artists. However, research suggests that only a fraction of small business owners use legitimate services when playing music for their customers, with many of them unaware of the need to obtain licensed offerings to provide trade ambience. Currently, some newer music-for-business providers are pushing more aggressively into the space, but there’s a need to persuade potential clients that it is in their interests both to use correctly licensed services and to embrace more tailored music for their operations.
SAMRO sees mixed year, with music rights income up but total revenue down
Africa’s largest authors’ society, the South African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO), has reported a fall in license and royalty revenue for its financial year ending June. Difficult trading conditions affected SAMRO’s operations in the year, with a number of businesses forced to close due to economic pressures, while others defaulted. SAMRO said the poor performance was also driven by reduced market confidence in the authors’ society, an outdated sales strategy, and inefficient licensing and collecting processes. Overseas collections were down year on year, though the rate of decrease was exaggerated by exchange rate fluctuations and the timing of revenue receipts from foreign societies.
Rights holders express concerns over looming no-deal Brexit
With just over three months to go before the UK is set to formally leave the European Union (EU), the details and manner of the exit after more than 45 years of membership is still unknown. Although the UK government and European leaders have reached a withdrawal agreement, certain provisions are not to the majority of UK MPs’ liking, and the deal in its current form will not pass a Parliament vote. Without a ratified withdrawal agreement, the prospect of leaving without a deal is becoming more likely. In preparation for such an event, both the European Commission (EC) and the UK government have published guidance for those potentially affected, addressing content portability, geoblocking, and rules government collection societies all addressed. However, despite the guidance, leaving the EU with no deal will mean a period of great uncertainty for rights holders.
Russia country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Russia music industry report. Russia is Eastern Europe’s most populous country and the world’s biggest in terms of land mass, spanning 11 time zones. It ended last year with a population of 147.1 million. At 17.1 million square kilometers, Russia’s surface area covers around one-eighth of the world’s inhabited land area. However, despite its size, Russia’s two main music industry sectors have long underperformed. Recorded-music sales have always struggled to reach anything close to their potential with per capita spending below $1. The transition from physical to digital created a new market for unlicensed services, but the move from ownership to access is boosting legitimate sales, and prospects for longer-term growth are positive. Russia’s live-music segment has continued its recovery, bolstered by slow, yet steady economic growth. However, with various political and economic factors in place, the industry’s future looks uncertain.
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