New issue of Music & Copyright with Netherlands country report

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

China set to enter the top five as recorded music sales are forecast to continue rising
Ovum has updated its forecasts for retail sales of recorded music. In line with last year’s main conclusion, the recorded-music sector is firmly a growth market, and Ovum expects sales to rise in each of the years up to and including 2024. By the end of the forecast period, retail sales will have increased for 10 consecutive years and have topped the record high set in the late 1990s. Virtually all developed markets are benefiting from rising consumer interest in subscriptions and streaming, and, perhaps most importantly for the sector, many of the much-vaunted and piracy-dominated emerging markets are starting to show their worth. Subscriptions are the biggest recorded-music category and are set to account for two-thirds of total revenue in 2024. Ovum is still expecting the growth rate for recorded-music sales to slow over the next five years as the music subscription sector in most developed markets reaches maturity. But overall spending on subscriptions has been revised upward, and the rate of decline for physical sales has been eased.

USPTO begins consultation about rights protection for artificial intelligence innovation
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has started a process to determine whether a piece of music that has been produced by artificial intelligence (AI) with limited involvement of a person qualifies as a work of authorship as defined by US copyright law. The USPTO has published a series of questions on AI and rights ownership for public comment at a time when the technology is starting to make waves in the music industry. The use of AI in creating music remains a niche concept, with recordings still labeled as experimental. But as the technology backing AI becomes more sophisticated and the use of AI widens, questions about rights ownership are becoming more pressing, particularly given that AI is able to create works with minimal input from human inventors.

Localized content has been key to streamer Joox’s success
Chinese streamer Joox Music has carved out a strong position for itself in Southeast Asia, becoming the leading provider of streamed audio in a number of markets in the region. The company has leaned heavily on its marketing savvy to build national businesses and has aligned itself closely with K-pop, a hugely popular genre among Southeast Asia’s younger demographic. Joox’s emphasis on customizing its content to suit local tastes has also paid off, making it the go-to provider for audiences. The company is in a good position to profit from forecast music streaming in Southeast Asia and may well expand in the region. However, given its presence in South Africa and links to a regional partner, sub-Saharan Africa might offer better prospects.

Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry report. After more than a decade of falling trade revenue from recorded-music sales, the Netherlands is experiencing a sustained period of growth. As in most developed markets in Europe, record company earnings in the Netherlands were hit by the effects of online piracy as a result of the shift from physical formats to digital. However, for the last four years, trade revenue has been on the rise, and further growth is expected for this year and beyond. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA registered a seventh consecutive year of growth in joint collections, after three straight annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies edged up last year, with gains for BUMA offsetting the decline for STEMRA. A rise in domestic and international collections for producers’ and performers’ society SENA boosted total receipts for the second year in a row. The live industry experienced a positive 2018, with increases in both the number of visitors to events and revenue from ticket sales.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Netherlands country report

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

The evolving relationship between record companies and music streamers
The number of music companies offering opportunities for unsigned artists to distribute their works to digital retailers and access services has risen steadily over the last few years. In most cases, a simple monthly payment allows unsigned artists to distribute their content directly to all the leading services, while at the same time keeping ownership of all the rights associated with their music. However, when the biggest audio-on-demand subscription service in the world acquires one of those companies that offers direct distribution, questions over the subscription service’s intentions are understandably raised. It seems highly unlikely and inadvisable that the likes of Spotify and Apple Music will risk upsetting the major record companies by engaging in record company activities on the eve of new licensing discussions. There is a big difference between greasing the wheels of direct distribution and becoming a record company. But that won’t stop questions being asked about the subscription services’ intentions, particularly if any more acquisitions of the kind described below are in the pipeline.

Record year for producers’ and performers’ rights despite a slowdown in revenue growth
Performance-rights distributions to record companies (producers) and performers registered another record-breaking year in 2017, with total payments rising to their highest levels. Producers’ and performers’ rights have become an important source of income in recent years, given the long demise of recorded-music trade revenue. The return to growth through increased consumer interest in streaming and subscriptions has somewhat overshadowed the importance of performance rights, but the revenue source will remain a key source of earnings, with collections forecast to grow steadily over the next few years. Measured at both reported and constant exchange rates, global performance-rights distributions increased year on year. The US remained the single biggest country for performance rights despite a slight decline in distributions. Europe is the biggest region, with its share of the global total rising for the first time in more than 10 years.

Tracy Chapman sues Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement in commercially unreleased track
US folk singer Tracy Chapman has filed a lawsuit at the US District Court for the Central District of California against Onika Tanya Maraj, professionally known as the rapper Niki Minaj, accusing her and unnamed defendants of copyright infringement. The claim centers on the unauthorized use of a section of lyrics from the Chapman track Baby Can I Hold You for the unreleased Minaj track Sorry. The filing claims that Minaj and a number of her representatives made several requests to license the Chapman composition for use in Sorry, but all these requests were refused. However, the Minaj track was recorded without permission and although it was not included on the intended album, the track was broadcast on several radio shows. Moreover, the track is currently available to stream on YouTube. Chapman is claiming the maximum statutory damages for the infringement.

Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry report. After more than a decade of falling trade revenue from recorded-music sales, the Netherlands is experiencing a sustained period of growth. In common with most developed markets in Europe, Dutch record company earnings were hit by the effects of online piracy as a result of the shift from physical formats to digital. However, for the last three years, trade revenue has risen sharply, and further growth is expected for this year and beyond. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA registered a sixth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies edged up last year, with gains in both performance and mechanical collections. A rise in domestic collections for producers’ and performers’ society SENA boosted total receipts despite a second straight year of falling overseas income. The live industry experienced a positive 2017, with an increase in both visitors to events and revenue from ticket sales.

If you would like more information about the newsletter or set up a subscription then send us an email

New issue of Music & Copyright with Netherlands country report

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

Flurry of deals and service announcements end a busy year for digital music
The battle for digital music supremacy took on new urgency in December, with a flurry of activity by several of the music streaming sector’s main players. The rumored rollout of a new all-encompassing service from YouTube was quickly followed by Amazon’s extension of its Music Unlimited service footprint. Not to be outdone, Apple then confirmed press reports that it had acquired song-recognition service Shazam. Spotify also confirmed reports that it would be exchanging minority equity stakes with Tencent Music Entertainment Group. Although Spotify has ended this year as the clear music subscription leader, the moves by the big names in the chasing pack suggest that there will be no letup in the push toward subscription service dominance.

Vinyl revival continues under the music streaming radar
Sales of vinyl in many of the world’s developed markets are on something of a roll at the moment. Although the vast majority of the recorded-music headlines are devoted to the business of music streaming, sales of the age-old vinyl LP continue are continuing to rise. New manufacturing plants are coming on line to meet the newfound demand for the format, and the likelihood is that vinyl will remain a part of the rapidly evolving recorded-music sector. Despite the high growth rates, vinyl still accounts for a small share of the physical-format sector. Moreover, the collectable status of the format means album prices are much higher than their CD equivalent. So the big question is: How long will the revival last for, and will consumers continue to be attracted by vinyl, or does the slowdown in global shipments mean the end of the vinyl road is already in sight?

IPRS receives reregistration notice, but collections fall for the third straight year
Indian authors’ society IPRS has reported a drop in collections for the financial year ending March 2016. With the exception of domestic radio broadcasting, all revenue streams suffered a fall. IPRS commented that unfavorable court rulings and litigation as well as issues concerning its registration as a copyright society and other enforcement matters were the main reasons for the collection reduction. Following a government investigation into the running of IPRS, the collection society has adopted a new set of articles of association. Moreover, elections resulted in the appointment of a new board of directors and governing council. In May, IPRS submitted to the commerce ministry an application for reregistration as an official collection society, and this status was granted in November.

Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry report. After more than a decade of falling trade revenue from recorded-music sales, the Netherlands is experiencing a major bounce back. Like most European music markets, the country suffered because of online piracy, as the shift from physical formats to digital resulted in big losses for record companies. However, for the last two years, trade revenue has risen sharply and continues to do so. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA reported a fifth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies edged up last year with gains in performance collections just offsetting lower mechanical rights. Producers’ and performers’ collection society SENA suffered a fall in total licensing income for 2016. Although domestic receipts were up year on year, lower income from the US meant international collections were down sharply. The live industry experienced a positive 2016 and the sector’s good performance looks to have continued this year.

If you would like more information about the newsletter or set up a subscription then send us an email

New issue of Music & Copyright with Netherlands country report

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

Currency fluctuations impact on global royalty collection performance in 2015
Combined royalty collections for the world’s 20 biggest collective management organizations (CMOs) that have published results fell sharply last year at current exchange rates after two consecutive years of growth. At constant exchange rates, combined royalty collections registered growth. With eight of the top-20 CMOs reporting results in euros, the strength of the dollar against the euro last year compared with 2014 greatly affected the current exchange rate comparison. French authors’ society SACEM was the leader in terms of total revenue. Sixteen of the top-20 CMOs reported increased collections. The US is the clear leader in terms of authors’ collections at country level, with combined collections by the CMOs ASCAP and BMI surpassing the $2bn mark. Europe is the biggest region, accounting for more than half of the global total.

RIAA notorious markets submission illustrates piracy site survival tactics
Every year, the US music trade body, the RIAA, submits a list of websites and services to the US Trade Representative (USTR). This is in response to a request for comments identifying online and physical markets based outside the US that should be included in the USTR’s annual Notorious Markets List. The sites and services are included on the list because they are deemed by the RIAA to inhibit the growth of legitimate online music markets to the detriment of US rights holders. The submission includes a number of familiar names as well as details of some previously deemed notorious sites and services that were removed from the list. The submission also provides music industry watchers with a good illustration of the difficulties faced by music trade bodies and associations in their ongoing campaign to limit the unauthorized distribution of recorded music.

Digital radio take-up in Europe remains patchy
In most European countries, broadcasting is the most valuable income stream for rights holders. Broadcasting-related royalty collections usually account for the biggest share of annual earnings for authors and publishers. Digital developments in TV broadcasting and the shift from analog terrestrial broadcasting has resulted in more channels using more music and a growing earning potential. However, the same has not happened for radio. Despite high coverage levels in a number of countries and reported increases in digital radio listening, no country in the European Union has set a firm switch-off date for analog radio broadcasts. Denmark looks likely to become the first member state to go all-digital, but it is the non-EU countries of Norway and Switzerland that are all set to be the first in Europe to ditch analog altogether.

Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry report. After more than a decade of falling trade revenue from recorded-music sales, the Netherlands is experiencing a major bounce back. Like most European music markets, the country suffered from online piracy with the shift from physical formats to digital, resulting in big losses for record companies. However, last year saw trade revenue rise sharply, and the positive trend has carried into this year. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA have reported a fourth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies grew at an increased rate last year, with gains reported in both performance and mechanical rights. Producers’ and performers’ collection society SENA registered a record year for collections and distributions. The live industry experienced a positive 2015, and despite difficulties with the weather, this year’s festival program has seen visitor numbers increase.

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 Netherlands country report

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

Subscriber growth, artist moans, and missing royalties cap an interesting week in streaming
Over the course of just a few days, developments in the music subscription sector have illustrated both the potential for growth for music access services and the problems faced in convincing some in the recorded music industry that their future is in safe hands. First, Apple announced some fairly impressive metrics for its four-month-old Apple Music service, and then came news that Spotify had pulled the catalog of indie label Victory Records from the service because of a dispute over publishing royalties. Claims from copyright administration service Audiam that millions of dollars of authors’ royalties was missing followed, along with a couple more artists complaining that their streaming royalties were unacceptably low.

Aurous teases the RIAA into a restraining order and copyright infringement lawsuit
Unlicensed music streaming service Aurous has quickly found itself in hot water after drawing the ire of the US trade body the RIAA. Three days after launch, the RIAA served Aurous with a copyright infringement lawsuit and gained a temporary restraining order. In the run-up to launch, the service’s creator Andrew Sampson publicly championed the technology behind Aurous, which allows users of the app to stream content via the BitTorrent network. Concerning for music companies is the fact that Aurous’ app does not use any external servers and so is almost impossible to shut down. A hearing at the end of October will determine whether the restraining order remains in place and when the copyright infringement claims will be heard in court.

Music artists and firms look to the blockchain to reform a “broken” system
Blockchain technology, on which leading crypto-currency Bitcoin is built, is being held up by reformers in the music industry as a means of creating a fairer distribution system for content creators. It could bring transparency to rights metadata, instant remuneration to artists, and new forms of monetization to music. The blockchain – as it is often referred to, in the singular – is a nascent technology that not many outside geeky developer circles know about or understand, but which has a huge disruptive potential and which, in recent months, has begun to make its presence felt in the music industry.

Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry profile. The Netherlands, like most European music markets, has suffered big falls in recorded music sales in the past decade or so. Download sales went some way to countering losses from falling CD sales but the rate of the demise of the once popular physical music format pulled total trade revenue down. That was until 2013. Although download sales went into reverse for the first time, a big rise in consumer interest in music subscriptions meant trade revenue from recorded music increased for the first time since 2009. Last year, trade income edged down slightly but streaming sales were again positive and hopes are the market will return to growth in 2015. Total authors’ rights increased in 2014 with both performance rights society BUMA and mechanical rights collections by STEMRA rising year-on-year. The live industry experienced a difficult year with ticket sales down on 2013 and the buoyant festival sector is showing signs that it is heading towards the saturation point.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.