New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

YouTube Music makes market share gains as more streaming services roll out price rises

The number of music subscriptions around the world is continuing to rise, with a steady stream of consumers happy to sign up to one of the many available streamers. In a short space of time, a handful of services have become dominant. Spotify has long been the leader, although subscriber gains from some of its competitors have reduced the Swedish service’s market share. YouTube Music has registered the highest growth rate of the leading streamers so far this year, with the service recently confirming a new subscriber milestone. Although the music streaming sector is continuing to grow at pace, some services have decided that now is the time to raise prices. Spotify has kept its pricing largely the same since it rolled out more than 10 years ago, but that is expected to change early next year. While the majority of subscribers have indicated that they will fork out the extra, a sizable number have questioned whether the higher price is worth paying.

Luna Aura files legal claim against 3LAU for a share of Ultraviolet multimillion-dollar NFT sale

Recording artist Luna Aura has filed a lawsuit at a New York district court against the electronic music DJ and producer 3LAU for the nonpayment of royalties. Aura contributed to a track included in an album released by 3LAU in 2018. However, several special edition vinyl copies of the album were sold as part of an NFT auction at the beginning of last year. The auction generated several million dollars in revenue, but Aura did not receive any royalties linked to the NFT sale. Although both sides signed an agreement covering rights payable from the original release of the track and album prior to their recording, there was no specific provision included in the agreement for any nontraditional sales. Aura was offered a licensing fee for the use of the track in the NFT project, but the payment offered was not considered satisfactory.

Twitter’s travails make rival social media a stronger music bet

Twitter 2.0 is a very difficult beast to get a handle on. The reign of Elon Musk has been short and has already been tumultuous. And the whim-based nature of the new owner means there are plenty of twists and turns to come. But while Twitter looks an unsafe and unstable platform to be active on right now, there is likely promise from a mooted creator program that could deliver for artists if it comes to fruition. However, for that to come about, relations between Twitter and record companies need to improve dramatically, given the latter’s issues around alleged copyright infringement on the platform. In any case, Twitter 2.0 isn’t really cutting-edge social media, and TikTok looks like a far more attractive ongoing music prospect.

France country report

In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of <em>Music & Copyright</em> includes a detailed France music industry report. France ended 2021 as the seventh-biggest economy in the world and the third in Europe, behind Germany and the UK. Last year saw the French economy grow 6.8% after suffering an 8% contraction in 2020, largely because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this year, the IMF forecast in its October-published World Economic Outlook report that GDP would rise 2.5%, and then 0.7% in 2023. Similar to its economic position in Europe, France also lags the UK and Germany for recorded-music sales. However, last year saw trade sales grow for the fifth consecutive year with the positive results down to the sustained rise in streaming-generated revenue and the resilience of physical formats. Digital sales first overtook physical in 2018 and accounted for almost 70% of last year’s digital/physical total (see Table 1). UMG extended its distributor lead with SME and WMG losing share. Collections for SACEM returned to growth after suffering a dip in 2020. However, the effects of the pandemic are still impacting certain business areas.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

The telco music bundle and its place in the evolving recorded-music sector
The bundling of music streaming services with mobile subscription packages has been around almost as long as the music subscription itself. To begin with, the music bundle had a slow start, but now it is widely considered to have played a major part in boosting the take up of subscription services. The bundle itself has gone through changes with the early years’ hard bundle largely giving way to simple service promotions and zero rating offers. The different levels of market development around the world have resulted in varying approaches to bundle rollouts. Operators in developed markets, on the whole, offer the least friendly music bundles with many focusing their entertainment provision on audiovisual. However, the usefulness of the bundle should not by overlooked, particularly in less developed markets that are only slowly waking up to the benefits of streaming.

Audio subscription gains boost Japan to nine-month recorded-music revenue growth
New figures published by the Japanese recorded-music trade association, the RIAJ, show digital music sales grew at a faster rate in the first nine months of this year compared with the prior year period. All the four streaming revenue sources registered positive results in contrast to the buy-to-own formats, which all suffered a decline. Audio subscriptions’ dominance of digital sales has continued to grow, with the revenue stream now accounting for more than 70% of the digital total. Physical formats have also registered a relatively positive year so far. Although the production value is down slightly, the combined revenue total of physical production and digital trade sales in the first nine months of this year suggests that Japan could secure recorded-music growth for the first time since 2018. However, questions remain over the longer-term fortunes for the recorded-music sector given the continued dominance of physical formats.

Pricey data remains music streaming’s main obstacle to Sub-Saharan African growth
Spotify finally went pan African this year, rolling out its music streaming services across the majority of the continent. However, the company is late to the streaming party in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the region is able to boast several well-established local streamers that are currently growing apace. A focus on local music is a core part of building a decent-sized user base—Spotify has clearly picked up on that particular learning—and leading streamer Boomplay is doing a good job promoting Afrobeats. However, while Sub-Saharan Africa has a youthful population to sell music to and smartphone penetration remains on the up and up, that lifeblood of streaming—data—can be pretty expensive in a generally low-income region. That’s why streaming providers need to join forces with local mobile operators to slot their services into more-affordable bundles and to come with creative megabyte workarounds.

France country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed France music industry report. France ended last year as the seventh-biggest economy in the world and the third in Europe, behind Germany and the UK. Last year saw the French economy shrink 8%, largely because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this year, the IMF forecast in its October-published World Economic Outlook report that GDP would rise 6.3%, and then 3.9% in 2022. Similar to its economic position in Europe, France also lags the UK and Germany for recorded-music sales. However, last year saw trade sales grow for the fifth consecutive year with streaming gains more than offsetting a dip in sales of physical formats, performance rights collections, and synchronization revenue. Digital sales first overtook physical in 2018 and accounted for almost three quarters of last year’s digital/physical total. UMG maintained its distributor lead despite a slight dip in market share. SACEM suffered a fall in collections for the first time since 2014 with all performance-based revenue streams taking a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

CISAC reports record year for collections, but big fall expected in 2020
CISAC has published its latest annual report on global creators’ collections. A new record for combined revenue for creators of music, audiovisual works, visual arts, drama, and literature was set last year with collections topping the €10 billion ($11.9 billion) mark for the first time. However, the main focus of the review was on the impact of COVID-19 and how the global pandemic is likely to affect this year’s results. Royalties from concerts, venues, and public performances are expected to fall by as much as 80%, with revenue from broadcasting set to shrink as much as 20%. CISAC noted that the impact of the virus is expected to remain long into 2021 and beyond. Across all repertoires, collections in 2021 will remain below the level of those in 2019, with users continuing to face payment difficulties and bankruptcies. SACEM remained the leading collective management organization (CMO) in revenue terms, with PRS for Music the latest CMO to register more than $1 billion in revenue.

California court denies Pandora anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss Flo & Eddie pre-1972 recordings claim
A California district court has denied for a second time an anti-SLAPP motion lodged by Pandora in the ongoing case brought by the artists Flo & Eddie. The music service had hoped to get the case struck off by the court after the California Supreme Court had dismissed two questions referred by the Ninth Circuit appeal court because of the timing of the enactment of the Music Modernization Act (MMA). Pandora had appealed the district court’s first dismissal of its anti-SLAPP motion and while the questions were pending, the MMA came into being. Subsequently, the Supreme Court vacated the first anti-SLAPP order, and remanded the action back to the district court to consider Pandora’s renewed anti-SLAPP motion. However, the district court again denied the anti-SLAPP motion.

Investor interest in music publishing is turning catalogs into assets
Songs no longer go for a song. Financial vehicles have taken a strong interest in music publishing catalogs, so much so that music rights have become much sought after and, some would say, very expensive assets. How expensive depends on a number of different factors, such as the ability to deliver consistent returns from synchronization deals, mechanical royalties and performance rights. However, despite the price tag, asset management firms are finding it easy to raise money to invest in these catalogs, especially as publishing rights can provide sizable revenue streams at a time of ongoing low interest rates. Valuations have gone up and are set to rise further. This is certainly a seller’s market.

France country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed France music industry report. France ended last year as the seventh biggest economy in the world and the third in Europe, behind Germany and the UK. Of Europe’s big three, France experienced the highest GDP growth rate last year, at 1.5%. However, according to the IMF’s June update to its April-published biannual World Economic Outlook report, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy will see GDP in France shrink 12.5%, the fastest rate of decline of the three. For recorded-music sales, France lags the UK and Germany. Trade sales in the country have risen for four consecutive years and may rise for a fifth if the performance in the first half of the year is repeated for the second six months and streaming gains continue to offset declines in buy-to-own formats. Digital sales overtook physical in 2018 and accounted for slightly less than two thirds of last year’s total. UMG maintained its sizable distributor lead despite a slight fall in market share. SACEM registered a fifth consecutive annual growth in collections with income topping the previous year’s record. Collections for this year are set to fall sharply due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

Global royalty collections see positive year, with growth at reported and constant currency rates
The world’s 20 biggest collective management organizations (CMOs) registered an increase in collections last year at both reported and constant currency exchange rates. The listing, which includes just those CMOs that have published collection results, shows that five of the 20 registered a fall in collections compared with 2016. As always, currency fluctuations affected some CMOs more than others, and overall, the growth rate last year of the combined 20 was higher at reported rates than constant. SACEM remained the leader in terms of total revenue, but BMI and ASCAP took the second and third spots, with a decline in GEMA collections relegating the German society to fourth. The performance of BMI and ASCAP meant the US is the clear leader in terms of collections at country level. Europe is the top region, accounting for close to 60% of the combined top-20 collection total.

Africa faces challenges on its way to becoming a recorded-music contributor
Africa might well be home to a sizable share of the world’s population, but in terms of recorded-music returns, the region is massively underperforming. Aside from South Africa, which has established music distribution and rights administration infrastructure, most countries in Africa have been decimated by high levels of piracy and infighting among collection societies. Ever the optimists, the three major record companies have all made recent moves to reverse the African status quo. The growth of access services in the rest of the world and their positive effects on unlicensed music consumption have given hope to those who believe Africa is an untapped treasure trove. Plenty of local activity and a rapid transformation of digital communications suggest that the time could well be right to move into the region. Few are holding their breath for a turnaround in the short-to-medium term, but longer-term prospects are certainly improving.

Streaming’s winners need to adapt if they want to keep on thriving
Spotify and Netflix are two highly successful children of the streaming revolution and have built market-leading positions with their attractive services. But times are set to become a little tougher for both of them. While the audio- and video-streaming markets will continue to grow, the sectors are becoming more challenging. Spotify’s IPO went smoothly enough, but its public listing means its inability to make a profit is under constant scrutiny, and its streaming business may not be able to deliver on that front; pressure is on the company’s non-core activities to do the job. Netflix faces a new era of tough competition from powerful adversaries and is sure to lose market share; from here on in, it’s all about the content.

France country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed France music industry report. France is the seventh-biggest economy in the world and the third-biggest in Europe, behind Germany and the UK. For recorded-music sales, France is the smallest of the three European countries. However, trade sales have risen for three consecutive years and look likely to rise again this year, with subscription service gains more than offsetting declines in sales of physical formats and music downloads. Digital sales overtook physical and accounted for more than half the combined digital physical total for the first time. UMG enhanced its position last year as the biggest music distributor, with an increase in market share. Authors’ society SACEM registered a fourth consecutive annual growth in collections, with income topping the previous year’s record thanks to a big jump in digital receipts.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

It’s time for the music industry to tackle the gender imbalance
Gender equality is a hot topic at the moment. There’s pressure in the music industry to increase female participation in the performance, management, and technical sides of the business, with women severely underrepresented across the board. There are a growing number of initiatives – mostly from the public sector – to tackle the gender imbalance, but many music companies simply aren’t yet doing enough to promote women, leaving themselves open to criticism. There are signs that the situation is improving. Live Nation rolled out an initiative earlier this year to support early-stage female-led live music companies, and Smirnoff has attempted to increase the number of female artists headlining at its sponsored festivals.

AKM sees collection growth, but Austro Mechana records annual decline
Austrian authors’ society AKM is on an unbroken streak of collection growth that dates back more than 10 years. The collection society has reported an increase in all of its main domestic income sources. Moreover, overseas revenue was also up year on year. Although digital registered the highest growth rate for AKM, the revenue stream is still a minor revenue source for Austrian rights holders. AKM subsidiary Austro Mechana (AUME) also experienced a rise in digital income, on the back of rising consumer use of streaming services. However, retroactive private copying collection in the previous year had an impact on last year’s overall performance by AUME.

Audio and video streaming gains boost US and Canada music consumption
The recorded-music sectors in US and Canada are continuing to feel the benefit of rising consumer use of streaming services. Consumption figures for the first six months of this year for both countries show streaming gains have more than offset declines in the sales of physical and digital formats. Although sales of vinyl LPs were up year on year, the results for the six-month period confirm the ascendancy of streaming. Not only have access services put both markets firmly on a stable footing, the shift from ownership to access has had varying degrees of impact on the sales of the different genres. R&B/hip-hop has benefited most, and after overtaking rock last year to become the most popular genre in the US, R&B/hip-hop widened the gap further on the previous leader.

France country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed France music industry report. Recorded-music sales in France look to have turned the corner after several almost unbroken years of decline. Earlier this year, the local trade association SNEP reported a second straight year of growth for trade earnings. The rise marked only the third time in the last 10 years that trade sales have registered an uptick. Royalty receipts have been relatively stable. French authors’ society SACEM reported a third consecutive year of collection growth in 2017 after a slight year-on-year decline in 2014.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Spain country report

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

Currency fluctuations affect global performance rights earnings in 2015
Given the long period of demise of recorded-music sales, producers’ and performers’ earnings from performance rights have become an important income source. Total collections in 2015 broke new records, with distributions to both producers and performers topping $1bn for the second year. Measured at reported exchange rates, global performance rights payments were down year on year. At constant rates, total distributions increased. However, the rate of growth was much lower than in 2014. Global receipts from performance rights remain dominated by the US organization SoundExchange. Although Europe is the biggest source of performance rights collections, the region’s share of the global total slipped below 50% for the first time.

France set to register annual growth in recorded-music sales
French music trade association SNEP has reported positive trade figures for the first nine months of this year. Total trade income increased year-on-year, and a good third quarter meant the rate of growth in the nine-month period was higher than the midyear rate. Subscriptions and ad-supported streaming were the two growth sectors, with sales of downloads down sharply. The overall performance was also buoyed by a rise in third-quarter physical-format income. Based on the SNEP figures, France looks well placed to register its first annual rise in trade earnings since 2013 and only the second for more than 10 years. The only worry for longer-term growth is that physical formats still dominate trade sales, and so a return to longer term growth is still dependent on how quickly local consumers turn away from CD albums.

Messaging is becoming the new battleground for music marketing
Fast-growing messaging services are gaining an increasing amount of consumer attention and younger demographics are spending more time on chat platforms than on social media. Music companies and artists are already using messaging to increase fan engagement and for promotional purposes, and this will accelerate. However, marketers looking to capitalize on messaging further will need to work hard to keep up with technological changes, particularly because messaging platforms are becoming increasingly automated. Chat bots are also coming to the fore, giving artists the chance to get even closer to their fans, but they are posing a threat to legitimate methods of selling concert tickets.

Spain country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Spain music industry report. Spain’s two main music industry sectors, recorded and live, have both recovered in the last couple of years. Recorded-music sales have increased for two successive years on the back of greater consumer interest in music subscriptions and streaming. The live sector is seeing rising revenues despite high rates of VAT on cultural events. Royalty collections in the country have remained flat for two years with lower collections from some sectors almost offset by gains elsewhere. The optimistic industry figures come at a time when the Spanish economy is continuing to register signs of improvement. However, the Spanish music sector, particularly recorded music, has a long way to go before it can declare itself out of the woods.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

German recorded music sector on track for another year of growth
Figures published by the German music trade body Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI) show that total consumer spending on recorded music was up 3.6% in the first half of this year compared with the same six-month period in 2015. A big jump in music subscriptions was behind the overall rise, with the increase in consumer spending on paid audio on-demand services fully offsetting all other format declines. The continued revival of the vinyl LP also boosted total retail sales. Despite the fall in spending on CD albums, the format still accounted for the majority of music retail sales. However, the boom in streaming sales pushed Germany ever closer to the digital tipping point.

Second consecutive year of decline for Polish royalty collections
Polish authors’ society ZAiKS has reported its financial statements for 2015. Although collections in the year were down compared with 2014, they were still the third highest in the authors’ society history. Total distributions were also one of the highest on record, while the administration rate remained virtually unchanged year-on-year. Broadcasting remained the biggest income source for ZAiKS. However, most of the main sources of broadcast income were down, resulting in an overall broadcast collection decline. The only real domestic bright spots for ZAiKS came from a small rise in collections from background music, public performance, and neighboring rights. Internet collections fell sharply along with private copying remuneration.

SIAE reports positive year for Italian live entertainment in 2015
The Italian live events sector experienced a positive 2015 according to new figures published by the Italian authors’ society SIAE. Following on from a fairly flat 2014, total box office receipts in 2015 registered a healthy rise, with concerts generating the biggest gains and a return to growth after a decline in 2014. Attendance reversed the previous year’s dip and increased in 2015, although the rate of growth was lower than box office spending and audience turnover. In addition to concerts, box office receipts from cinemas also experienced a reversal of fortune and registered an increase, cementing the cinema sector as the Italian entertainment industry’s biggest sector. Dance was the only sector to suffer a decline in box office receipts.

France country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed France music industry profile. The French recorded music industry is currently suffering due to the ongoing transitions from physical to digital and ownership to access. Consumer interest in streaming is maintaining overall growth in digital trade earnings, but falling sales of both downloads and CD albums have pulled down overall record company earnings. There is, however, some hope that this year will see a return to growth, with midyear trade revenue up year-on-year. French authors’ society SACEM registered a positive 12 months with collections increasing after a slight year-on-year decline in 2014. France’s live music industry is highly competitive with national and international promoters battling to represent big names. However, the last 12 months have been particularly difficult for the sector following a number of terrorist attacks.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with France country report

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

EC green-lights GEMA, PRS, and STIM pan-European online music licensing hub
The European Commission has given its approval to a joint online music-licensing venture between the three European collection societies GEMA, PRS for Music, and STIM. In January, the EC began an-depth investigation to determine if the venture was in line with European Union regulations on mergers. The investigation was launched after a preliminary investigation suggested that the combination of music repertoires currently controlled by the three collection societies could result in higher prices and worsened commercial conditions for digital service providers in the European Economic Area. In a joint statement, GEMA, PRS for Music, and STIM said the new hub will transform pan-European music licensing by enabling ease of access for digital music services to music rights as well as provide faster and more accurate payments of royalties to writers and their music publishers.

Both BUMA and STEMRA report collection growth in 2014
Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA have reported a third consecutive year of growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies increased 5.3% last year, with gains reported in both performance and mechanical rights. Strong growth in streaming in the Netherlands resulted in an almost doubling of digital collections for BUMA. However, streaming remains a tiny source of revenue for authors and publishers in the country.

US Copyright Office opens up the debate on the future of orphan works
The US Copyright Office (USCO) has begun a new review of how best to deal with orphan works and mass digitization under the country’s copyright law. Earlier this year, the USCO asked for comments from stakeholders and held a number of public roundtables in Washington D.C. The culmination of viewpoints, as well as an analysis of issues impacting orphan works and mass digitization efforts along with a series of recommendations, has been published in a new report. The USCO has requested written comments on its recommendations be submitted by early August.

After the indie and Swift storm, Apple Music is all set to deliver the music streaming tipping point
Apple’s foray into music streaming has been a long time coming but Apple Music is set to hit the ground running. However, those who expected cool Apple to innovate in the streaming space need to “think different” as the company has designed a service which is pretty much a grab bag of features already out in the market. While that may be a disappointment for some, it is not necessarily a bad move. All Apple needs to do is provide a good, dependable music streaming service akin to Spotify’s and its marketing clout and the huge global penetration rate of its consumer electronics devices should ensure that becomes market leader. However, Apple Music is not about to wipe out the competition and the service’s launch will serve to lift most streamers’ boats.

France country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed France music industry profile. The French music industry experienced a contracted 2014 with recorded music sales and royalty collections both suffering a decline after a positive 2013. Despite the rise in music subscription and streaming revenue, continued falls in CD album and music download sales dragged down overall recorded music trade income. French authors’ society SACEM also suffered a reversal of fortune with the ongoing decrease in mechanicals overshadowing digital and broadcasting gains. France’s live music industry is highly competitive with national and international promoters battling for big name representation. High fees charged by leading artists make it difficult for promoters to return a profit and the increased concentration on bigger shows and festivals is causing a real headache for the country’s smaller events.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.