New issue of Music & Copyright with Japan country report

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

Midyear trade results suggest a very big year for global recorded-music sales
With all the world’s major recorded-music markets and a good number of smaller ones having published midyear trade figures, an assessment of the results suggests that global recorded-music trade earnings could be heading for a particularly positive full year. Based on the numbers, combined global trade revenue from the sale of physical and digital recorded music and income from music access services will rise at the highest rate for more than 20 years. All the trade associations that have published figures have shown continued gains from music subscription services, and this earnings growth in almost all countries has more than offset declines in revenue from other formats. The ongoing dominance of a small number of markets looks likely to continue, but, as has been the case in the last couple of years, the rates of growth in less developed markets will be higher than those of the global leaders.

Music and video subscription services boost APRA AMCOS collections
Combined revenue for Australian authors’ society APRA AMCOS reached another record figure in the 12 months to end-June. Income exceeded A$300m for the third consecutive year, and the authors’ society is expecting collections to top the A$400m mark in the current financial year. Both APRA and AMCOS registered growth in the year. Broadcasting accounted for the biggest share of total collections, but a combination of factors saw digital overtake TV to become the greatest revenue source. The authors’ society commented that the rise of consumer subscriptions to music and video streaming services was the key factor underpinning revenue growth. APRA AMCOS’ expense-to-revenue ratio was down from the previous year, as was APRA’s standalone ratio. International collections increased at almost the same rate as domestic income.

Vevo looks to the TV model to become a music video star
remium music video company Vevo has been racking up impressive viewing metrics for a while, despite being overshadowed by YouTube (on whose property it gets most visibility). The company is now attempting to boost traffic to proprietary channels and make itself more attractive to advertisers by acting like a TV network. If it pulls this off, it could become the MTV for the millennial generation.

Japan country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Japan music industry report. Japan is the second-largest recorded-music market in the world. According to the IFPI, the country ended last year behind the US in terms of overall trade revenue, but it was comfortably the global leader for trade income from sales of physical formats. There is momentum building around the access model, but for streaming in Japan to make any real impact on the overall recorded-music sector, annual gains will need to be significantly larger than they have been so far. Increases in streaming revenue will certainly be able to compensate for declines in download and mobile personalization sales. But access services are struggling to offset modest falls in physical format sales. Should sales of physical formats go the way they have in other developed markets and streaming continue to register only moderate levels of growth, Japan could be in for a difficult few years.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Japan country report

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

ECJ clarifies the copyright infringement rules concerning hyperlinks
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the posting of a hyperlink on a website to works protected by copyright and published without the author’s consent on another website does not necessarily constitute a communication to the public, so long as the person that posts the link does not seek financial gain and acts without knowledge that the works have been published illegally. The Dutch Supreme Court had asked the ECJ for clarity in a case brought by Sanoma Media, the local publisher of Playboy magazine, against GS Media, owner of the online news service GeenStijl. Sanoma had accused GeenStijl of repeatedly posting links to websites hosting unauthorized Playboy photos of the Dutch TV presenter Britt Dekker. Although the case centered on photos, the ruling could have major implications for a wide range of media services and search engines.

MCSC reports another record year for royalty collections in China
Royalty collections in China are on something of a roll at the moment with total income for authors and publishers last year rising sharply. In September the local authors’ society MCSC published its business report for 2015, confirming that total collections had increased for the seventh consecutive year. In addition to a record total, collections grew at the fastest rate since 2011, with domestic and foreign income both registering growth. Despite only a slight rise in digital income, the collection source was the biggest single income stream for Chinese authors and publishers. The growth predicted in the uptake of digital music services in the next few years should provide a significant boost for digital collections. Although MCSC welcomed the positive results, the authors’ society noted that it been forced to take out a high number of copyright infringement lawsuits against various music users. MCSC did note an improvement in the legal environment and copyright law enforcement.

Flexible pricing is key to longer term music subscription growth
Music subscriptions have quickly become the mainstay of the recorded music sector. The leading streaming services are boosting record company earnings and returning global trade revenue to growth after many years of decline. The number of subscribers to the likes of Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal is continuing to rise, and consumer interest in music access rather than ownership is showing no signs of slowing. Perhaps surprisingly, the business model behind music subscriptions has changed little in the short time that the now-familiar brands have been operating. In most developed markets, there is a standard price across different streaming services and little difference in the amount of songs they offer. Free access is probably the biggest distinguishing factor, with some services maintaining an advertising-supported tier while others limit free access to a trial period. There is, however, a likelihood that some changes will have to be made to maintain the momentum. Because offering exclusives is currently a contentious move, streaming services may have to consider adjusting their prices to ensure future success.

Japan country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Japan music industry report. Japan is the second largest recorded music market in the world. According to the IFPI, the country ended 2015 behind the US in terms of overall trade revenue but was comfortably the global leader for trade income from sales of physical formats. One of only two Asian countries in the global top 10 (South Korea is the other), Japan is unique in several ways, with trade revenue from sales of physical formats still accounting for more than 80% of total record company income. After several years of decline, digital earnings have started rising again and subscription services are growing rapidly. The dominance of major record companies is being challenged by a number of local independent companies. Japan boasts one of the world’s largest authors’ societies in terms of royalties collected. It also has a buoyant live sector.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright

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

Russia’s royalty collection system heading for a big shake-up
Russia’s music royalty collecting segment has been in turmoil over the last few weeks as Sergei Fedotov, head of state-approved authors’ rights collecting society the Russian Authors’ Society (RAO), was arrested and a group of rights holders left the organization to set up a new collecting society, the Russian Authors’ Union (ROAS). Police opened an investigation into RAO a year ago, alleging that RUB500m ($7.7m) had been funneled out of the organization in a series of dubious real estate deals. However, no action was taken until late June of this year, when Fedotov was unexpectedly arrested on suspicion of fraud. In the weeks following his arrest, another collecting society, RSP, which collects a 1% tax on imports of electronic devices that can be used for copying content and until recently was closely associated with RAO, announced that it is cutting ties with the embattled organization. At around the same time, the creation of ROAS was announced, a collecting society claiming to avoid repeating RAO’s mistakes.

Subscriptions take the digital lead in Japan; physical formats remain dominant
The Japanese music trade association, The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), has reported midyear production figures for physical music formats and trade earnings from the sale of digital music in the country. Combined revenue from physical audio and music video production was down year-on-year, while total record company earnings from digital sales and services were boosted by growth in subscriptions. Taking physical and digital together, total recorded music revenue suffered a small dip, in contrast to the slight rise in the first six months of last year. Physical formats still account for more than three-quarters of total recorded music trade income in Japan, and the positive gains in subscription income in the six-month period were unable to offset lower physical format revenue. Digital sales have gained momentum in the last few years, and rising subscription sales mean that Japan is now more in line with most Western markets. However, the country has a long way to go before it reaches the digital tipping point.

BMI begins its legal challenge to the DoJ’s insistence on full-work licensing
US performing rights organization (PRO) BMI has started the ball rolling on its legal challenge to the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ’s) interpretation of the consent decrees and how both ASCAP and BMI license performance rights. In 2014, the DoJ began a review to examine the operation and effectiveness of the consent decrees. This was following a request by ASCAP and BMI to consider new ways of licensing, and most notably, that they be permitted to allow music publishers to partially withdraw certain digital licensing rights. However, while the DoJ declined to allow a partial withdrawal, its decision to insist on full-work licensing has drawn considerable fire. Following the publication of the DoJ’s statement on the closing of its consent decree review, ASCAP and BMI said that they would pursue a joint campaign to challenge the DoJ. ASCAP is to push for legislative reform; however, it is BMI that has fired the first shots with its initiation of a legal challenge.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with Japan country report

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

Little change forecast for global recorded music retail sales
Ovum has published new forecasts for retail sales of recorded music that suggest little variation in overall spending levels, but the continuation of the transition from ownership to access. Although global consumer spending on recorded music will change very little in the years to 2020, spending on digital formats and services will overtake physical formats this year and go on to account for almost three-quarters of all sales in just six years. According to Ovum, music subscriptions will lead the charge, dominating retail spending for the foreseeable future. Record companies are set to benefit most from the streaming gains, given the lower costs involved, and are expected to register increased earnings annually.

The corporate live music sector is heading for a record year
All of the leading players in the corporate live music industry have now published financial details for the first half of 2015. An assessment of how the sector has performed suggests the live music industry could well be heading for a record year. Combined earnings for the seven featured companies showed healthy growth overall with only the Brazilian promoter Time For Fun suffering a year-on-year decline in revenue. Live Nation is by far the biggest of the seven events companies detailed but the strongest revenue gains were registered by the most recently listed promoter SFX Entertainment. However, turbulence in SFX’s delisting process has hit the company’s share price and there remains a big question mark over the company’s future.

Music industry gets legal but digital compromise is coming
A recent court case in the US that has gone against the music industry has highlighted the fact that record companies have been ignoring the concept of “fair use”, which allows third parties to use IP-protected content for purposes such as news reporting, criticism, or parody without the permission of the copyright owner. At the same time, online service providers such as YouTube and SoundCloud are coming under increasing pressure from rights holders to license content shared by their millions of users. The music industry is challenging US and European “safe harbor” provisions which enable service providers to disseminate music without licensing the content first. However, while the two parties are currently at loggerheads over who extracts the value produced by artists, they do have strategic objectives in common which may see them working more closely together in the future.

Japan country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Japan music industry profile. Japan is the second-largest recorded music market in the world. According to the IFPI, the country ended 2014 behind the US in terms of overall trade revenue but was the global leader for trade income from sales of physical formats. Japan is unique among the leading markets in so many ways: Its trade revenue from sales of physical formats still accounts for more than 80% of total record company income. After several years of decline, digital earnings have started rising again and subscription services are showing considerable promise. Major record company dominance is ably challenged by a number of local independent companies. Japan also boasts one of the world’s largest authors’ societies in terms of royalties collected and it has a buoyant live sector.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

Japanese consumers turning away from mobile music formats in ever greater numbers

Music buyers in Japan are continuing to confound the rest of world, with digital sales falling and physical-format sales rising. Recent figures published by Japanese music trade association the RIAJ show that the once loved mobile music formats are continuing to suffer big drops in sales. Internet sales are growing but nowhere near fast enough to stem Japan’s digital-music collapse. Continue reading “Japanese consumers turning away from mobile music formats in ever greater numbers”