New issue of Music & Copyright with South Africa country report

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

SoundCloud must put faith in its creators to survive and thrive
Germany-based SoundCloud has been involved in music streaming longer than sector leader Spotify, but to date it has been unable to turn an evident appetite for its “social” music services into a sustainable commercial operation. The company was forced into a major reorganization last year, losing a good chunk of staffers in the process. However, it also picked up a fresh cash injection and an experienced management team, which might be able to squeeze more value out of SoundCloud’s most valuable resource: its artists.

Australian Senate committee backs incremental approach to safe-harbor expansion
In December, the Australian Senate referred the newly introduced Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Bill 2017 to a committee for inquiry, with a view to reporting back with a recommendation in March. In short, the bill deals with the extension of the safe-harbor scheme to a broader range of service providers. As part of the inquiry process, the committee requested submissions from interested parties and then held a public hearing. The resulting report reviewed the bill and outlined the principal issues raised, along with the committee’s findings and a recommendation. Although the committee said the Senate should pass the bill, it said it agreed with the government’s decision to make an incremental expansion of the safe harbor scheme, so that it can continue to consult on how best to reform the scheme to apply to other online service providers.

Miley Cyrus the latest artist on the end of a lyrics plagiarism claim
Miley Cyrus has become the latest high-profile artist to be targeted by a copyright infringement claim. In March, Jamaican singer-songwriter Michael May accused the US performer, her songwriting and production team, and her record company and publisher of plagiarizing a short original lyric phrase that he created for his recording We Run Things. Although the phrase was altered slightly in the Cyrus track We Can’t Stop, May’s copyright infringement claim goes beyond simple copying, with accusations that Cyrus used cultural elements drawn from his track as a basis for her transformation as an artist and performer. May is reportedly claiming upwards of $300m in damages as well as an injunction preventing any further sales and performance of the Cyrus track.

South Africa country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed South Africa music industry report. South Africa is Africa’s biggest music market. Consumer spending on recorded music and live performance as well as royalty collections are significantly higher in the country than in any other market in the region. Despite its geographic location, South Africa more closely resembles a Western music market and has far more in common with many countries in Europe and North America than it does with its neighbors. Although this means per-capita spending on music is high compared with other African countries, the same problems encountered in the developed world in the shift from physical formats to digital and downloads to access, have been experienced in South Africa. Music piracy rates are extremely high and despite government promises to amend copyright laws and increase intellectual property rights protection, the piracy problem persists. But, although the rise in high-speed internet access has exacerbated problems associated with the unauthorized distribution of music, higher digital sales, rising smartphone penetration, and the rollout of several international streaming services suggests the market may well have a bright future.

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

Advertisements

New issue of Music & Copyright with South Africa country report

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

Digital and private-copying gains boost SACEM collections
French collection society SACEM has reported a second successive year of growth in collections with income and distributions both topping previous record levels. Domestic income and collections from mandates all registered a year-on-year rise in 2016. Although collections from broadcasting edged down and income from mechanicals continued to fall, collections from the main income sources registered growth. Moreover, in a repeat of 2015, private copying and online were the biggest gainers. Authors’ rights distributions to SACEM members increased year on year, along with payments for cultural projects and social programs. Despite the collection growth, a higher rise in operating costs meant the authors’ society’s net operating cost-to-royalty ratio edged up.

Vinyl market keeps on turning as providers get innovative
The headline story for the recorded-music business at the moment is all about streaming and the ongoing shift from ownership to access. However, the resilience of vinyl suggests that the age-old format still has a part to play in the music industry’s future. While sales have grown rapidly for a number of years, the vinyl segment still accounts for only a small percentage of recorded-music revenue. But underneath all the headlines, the vinyl sector is showing signs of innovation, on both the technical and commercial sides. Moreover, ongoing high prices for the format look set to keep on attracting new entrants with new ideas to the market.

SABAM reports a flat year for collections but a fall in distributions
Belgian authors’ society SABAM has reported a flat year for collections, with gains in public performance and broadcasting unable to offset collection decreases elsewhere. All the main public performance income streams, except for cinema, registered growth last year. Although overall broadcasting collections were up, the different broadcast sectors experienced differing performances. Digital collections were lower year on year, with a sharp drop in royalties from downloads and simulcasting wiping out the growth in earnings from streaming. Total phono-mechanical collections edged down, but the sector experienced big variations by income source. Distributions suffered a big decline and operating costs edged up.

South Africa country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed South Africa music industry report. South Africa is the Africa’s biggest music market. Consumer spending on recorded music and live performance as well as royalty collections are significantly higher in the country than in any other market in the region. Despite its geographic location, South Africa is more akin to a Western music market and has far more in common with many countries in Europe and North America than it does its closest neighbors. While this means per-capita spending on music is high compared with other African countries, the same problems encountered in the developed world in the shift from physical formats to digital and, more recently, downloads to access, have been experienced in South Africa. Although the rise in high-speed internet access has exacerbated problems associated with the unauthorized distribution of music, higher digital sales, rising smartphone penetration, and the move into South Africa by several international streaming services suggests the market is on the right road to a brighter future.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.