The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Increase in global performance rights distributions, with further growth expected for this year
Performance rights distributions to record companies (producers) and performers increased in 2021 for the second year in a row. A fall in 2019 saw payments slip below the $3bn mark after reaching the milestone for the first time in 2018. Last year saw global performance rights distributions top the $3bn mark again, with forecasts of more growth to come for this year. Producers’ and performers’ rights have become an important source of income in recent years, given the long period of 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 remains a key earnings generator.
Streaming and vinyl are the midyear positives in a slowing French recorded-music sector
French music trade group SNEP has reported a positive first six months for recorded-music sales. Although revenue from physical formats suffered a decline after rising sharply last year, SNEP said the resurgence of vinyl had continued. Moreover, despite a fall in CDs, the format was still the second-biggest income source for local music companies. Audio subscriptions added the most extra to the midyear trade total, but it was video streaming that registered the biggest rise. The overall number of streams served in the six months was up, but it was paid subscribers that drove the increase, with the number of advertising-supported streams served largely unchanged. SNEP noted that the cost-of-living crisis in France has not impacted music sales so far, but the trade group was continuing to monitor the situation.
Stock music’s stock rises as the creator economy expands
Royalty-free, or production, music is a big business and worth around $1bn a year in revenue. Demand is rising steeply, thanks in large part to the burgeoning use of social video online. This has led to the launch of a raft of startups seeking to provide custom, rights-free sounds for a monthly subscription. A small number of providers have cut through and are leading the way, but the space is a little bit too overpopulated. There has already been some consolidation, but more is on the way, especially as major international investment firms are now also in the mix. Stock music suppliers also need to look beyond the creator economy for revenue and deploy technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) to boost their offerings.
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 has experienced 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 seven years, trade revenue has been on the up and further growth is expected for this year and beyond. Digital accounted for more than 80% of the combined digital/physical trade revenue last year. UMG suffered a dip in its distributor share, with SME and WMG both making gains. However, UMG’s share remained double that of its closest rivals. Combined collections for the Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA edged up last year, after registering the first fall since 2011. Gains for STEMRA just offset BUMA’s decline, with live receipts suffering a second year of sharp decline as a result of the slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 also affected total receipts for producers’ and performers’ society SENA, which were down year on year.
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