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.

Big gains for SoundExchange and PPL boost producers’ and performers’ rights to new level
Performance-rights distributions to record companies (producers) and performers registered another record-breaking year in 2018, with total payments topping the $3bn milestone for the first time. Producers’ and performers’ rights have become an important source of income in recent years given the long decline 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 is a key earnings generator, with growth in distributions last year matching the rate of increase in combined physical/digital trade sales. Measured at both reported and constant exchange rates, global performance rights distributions were up year on year. The US enhanced its position as the biggest country for performance rights, while Europe remains the biggest region.

Claims involving Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Juice WRLD made October a busy month for plagiarism watchers
Copyright infringement claims against high-profile artists and performers are part and parcel of today’s recorded-music industry. Not only are millions of dollars at stake should a claim be successful, but the reputations of artists renowned for their songwriting can also take a hit. Proving one artist or songwriter has copied another’s work requires two key elements. To begin with, there must be substantial similarity between the two works in question. Also, it must be proved that an accused has either heard or be presumed to have heard the original work prior to the writing of the infringing track. October proved to be a busy month for plagiarism cases, with some of the world’s biggest artists involved in claims made against them, their writing teams, and their record companies and publishers.

Streamers’ HD offerings hinge on getting audiences to care about higher-quality music services
“Immersive music” is now a thing. Dolby Laboratories and Sony Corp. have moved into the quality music space with new formats for audiences. Both say that their respective services deliver more engaging experiences, and both are leaning on the latest Echo smart speaker from Amazon to stake claims in the living room. However, high-definition (HD) music-streaming products, with their higher price points, have yet to take off after years in the marketplace. Using a smart speaker to cut through could prove a savvy move when mobile networks can’t yet be relied upon to provide good service. But what is key to the success of HD music is persuading prospective subscribers that, first, they need such services, and second, that they ought to be paying more for them.

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 is one of Europe’s midtier music markets. The country’s recorded-music sector has been one of the region’s worst hit by digital piracy since the turn of the century. Although piracy levels are still high, spending on recorded music has recovered somewhat, but the transition from ownership to access has not all been smooth sailing. Last year saw a modest increase in retail sales, with higher spending on digital formats and services just offsetting a decline in sales of physical formats. This year has so far been a different story, with total sales benefiting from both digital and physical growth. The steady improvement in Spain’s economic fortunes have had a positive effect on the country’s different music industry sectors. However, the unemployment rate remains high, particularly among younger consumers, who are traditionally the biggest music consumers. The troubles for local authors’ society SGAE are continuing, even though the society registered higher collections and distributions. Spain’s live sector enjoyed its best ever year in terms of turnover, with festival popularity at an all-time high.

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New issue of Music & Copyright

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

Retail sales of recorded music in the US set to break the $10bn mark
US trade group the RIAA has reported another positive half year performance for retail sales of recorded-music. Subscriptions and streaming were again the star performers with growth in access service spending and advertising easily offsetting declines in sales of other formats. With the exception of advertising revenue from statutory services not distributed by SoundExchange, all the different streaming subcategories registered a positive first half of the year with paid subscriptions alone accounting for more than half of the six months’ total retail sales. The revival of vinyl continued with the growth in sales matching the rise in the prior year period. The average number of paying music subscribers increased at a slightly lower rate, but more that 14 million new subscribers were added in the six-month period.

Subscriptions the highlight in a positive first half year for Spanish recorded-music sales
Midyear retail sales figures published by Spanish music trade association Promusicae show the recovery in recorded-music sales has accelerated, with both digital and physical rising year on year. Subscriptions registered a particularly positive six-month period, generating more than half the retail sales total for the first time. Audio and video advertising revenue also increased. Unusually for a developed market, sales of CD albums were up, with consumer spending on vinyl rising sharply. Of the markets that have published sales details for the first half of this year, Spain is the clear leader in terms of growth rate. Moreover, given that subscriptions now generate more than half of the retail total, continued consumer interest in access services should mean a sixth consecutive year of growth as well as longer-term stability for Europe’s sixth-biggest music market.

Sharp rise in digital collections boosts MCSC royalty receipts to new record
Royalty collections in China have increased for the 10th consecutive year. In September the Chinese authors’ society, MCSC, published its business report for 2018, confirming that total collections had topped the previous year’s record and exceeded CNY300m ($41.8m) for the first time. Furthermore, the year-on-year growth rate was more than twice the rate in 2017, and collections have more than doubled in just four years. A new licensing deal with Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) swelled digital collections to more than half the total royalty receipts. Also registering a positive year was live performance and karaoke. Background collections, MCSC’s second-biggest revenue stream, were down, along with TV and radio income.

Classical streaming services targeting the underserved music aficionados
There’s clearly a growing appetite for classical music streaming, but the market’s leading operators aren’t set up to provide true genre enthusiasts with services they need. And that’s down to both the content they can provide and the way they go about organizing it. It’s no surprise, then, that a couple of start-ups have stepped up to serve the classical music fan with more tailored products that are all about granularity. However, both may well be underestimating the aficionado’s propensity to pay, not just for quality recordings, but also for content that enhances the principal audio experience. After all, the classical-music-consuming public is an affluent and discerning demographic that really ought to be fully served by services launched specifically to fulfill their music needs.

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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.

Midyear results confirm the recorded-music sector is heading for a fourth straight year of growth
With all the world’s major recorded-music markets and several other smaller ones having published midyear trade figures, Music & Copyright’s annual assessment of the results suggests global recorded-music trade earnings from the sale of physical and digital recorded music and income from music access services will register a similar rate of growth this year as in 2017. All the trade associations that have published figures or provided guidance have shown continued gains from music subscription services, and this earnings growth in all but one of the countries has more than offset declines in revenue from other formats. The ongoing dominance of the world’s biggest markets is set to continue, but, as has been the case in the last few years, the rate of growth in the less developed and so-called emerging markets will be higher than that of the global leaders.

Tencent Music Entertainment’s SEC filing lifts the lid on the Chinese company’s inner workings
Chinese music giant Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) has filed the necessary documentation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), confirming its move to go public. The company will list under the symbol TME in what is expected to be the biggest IPO by a Chinese company in the US. As is the case with all listings, documents filed with the SEC lift the lid on financial and operating metrics not previously available. In contrast to Western services, which have seen revenue rise but losses deepen, TME’s music platforms are profitable, despite the low share of users paying a regular subscription. The filing also offers a look at some of the service offerings and initiatives not provided by Western services. This research note picks out some of the more interesting insights surrounding the financial standing of the service, its popularity, and what the details tell us about the Chinese music-streaming sector.

The future of selling recorded music and the next phase of streaming service development
With music streaming and subscriptions now the main revenue generator for recorded-music companies, and sales of buy-to-own formats in terminal decline, the term “music retail” is quickly becoming obsolete. Consumers in increasing numbers are not buying recorded music; they are paying to access it. Trips to the record store are a thing of the past for all but a small number of vinyl connoisseurs. Moreover, there is nothing to hold anymore, apart from the credit card used to pay for the subscription, or the hardware used to stream the music. In short, the first phase of music streaming is effectively over and the second phase, where streaming companies go beyond simple service provision, is well underway. Each company has its own plans for competing with its rivals and attracting new subscribers who are yet to take the streaming plunge. New artist initiatives, service acquisitions, expanded rollouts, and wider music bundles are already shaping the access-service landscape, but this kind of activity will only intensify over the next couple of years, as services look to enhance their position in what has become a rapidly evolving sector.

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 is one of Europe’s mid-tier music markets. The country’s recorded-music sector has been one of the region’s worst hit by digital piracy since the turn of the century. Although piracy levels are still high, spending on recorded music has recovered somewhat, but the transition from ownership to access has not all been smooth sailing, and this year has seen the gains from higher spending on music subscriptions offset by the continued fall in download and CD album sales. Per-capita spending on recorded music is low and lags a long way behind Europe’s leading markets. The steady improvement in Spain’s economic fortunes will have a positive effect on the country’s different music industry sectors. However, the unemployment rate remains high, particularly among younger people, who are traditionally the biggest music consumers. UMG remained the biggest recorded-music company last year, while troubled authors’ society SGAE reported higher collections and distributions. Spain’s live music industry experienced a positive 2017, with sales boosted by the reduction in the VAT rate in June last year.

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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.

Recorded music now firmly a growth industry, but for how long?
Ovum has published new forecasts for retail sales of recorded music which suggest that recorded music is now firmly a growth market. The value is expected to increase this year for the third year in a row and by 2022 retail sales will be at their highest level for almost 20 years. Virtually all developed markets are benefitting from rising consumer interest in subscriptions and streaming, and perhaps most importantly for record companies, emerging markets are beginning to show interest in these services too. Subscriptions will become the single biggest recorded-music category this year and will account for more than half the retail sales in 2019 and almost two-thirds of the total three years later. Ovum is also 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.

Live music sector set to maintain annual ticket sales growth
Measuring the annual performance of the live music sector on a global level is a speculative process. In contrast to recorded music, which is highly organized under the auspices of the IFPI, the live industry has no global trade association. Moreover, despite the recent emergence of a small number of corporate promoters, the live industry is not controlled by a few players, unlike the recorded-music sector, which is dominated by the three majors and music publishing groups. However, as in previous years, Ovum has taken guidance from the results of the corporate live leaders. Based on their financial details for the first nine months of last year, the live music industry is likely to have registered a positive 2017. Although the individual performance of each company differed, the combined earnings for the featured promoters showed positive overall growth, with combined revenue for the six set to top $11bn.

Control of in-car music slips toward the tech giants
Investments in the connected car continue apace as vehicle manufacturers keep on cutting technology deals. However, while until recently the in-car space looked to be the car manufacturer’s domain when it came to entertainment and information services, the auto industry is now set to be usurped in large part by tech giants Apple and Google. That’s because car makers saw little threat in letting smartphones get comfortably close to the dashboard, failing to realize that their customers’ intimate knowledge and everyday usage of mobile devices made bypassing often clunky in-car systems a frictionless way to enjoy their music on the road.

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 Australia music industry report. After a long difficult period for the recorded-music sector in Spain, trade sales have risen for three consecutive years and are likely to rise again when full-year results are published in early 2018. Similarly, Spain’s live sector has reversed a lengthy period of decline and registered three straight years of growth. Royalty collections in the country have been fairly flat for the last four years with annual changes in the low-single-digit percentages. Spain’s positive music industry figures come at a time when the Spanish economy is continuing to register real signs of improvement. However, in spite of the rising industry tide, the music sector, particularly recorded music, has a long way to go before it returns to the boom years of 20 or so years ago.

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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.

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 Spain country report

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

Flat year for authors’ royalty collections in 2014
Combined royalty collections for the 20 biggest authors’ societies and organizations that have published results increased 1.6% in 2014. Although the growth rate was down on the 2.8% rise in 2013, it marked the second consecutive year of rising collections after a slight dip in 2012. French authors’ society SACEM was the leader in terms of collections, with European collective rights management organizations (CMOs) accounting for the top three positions. However, the US is the clear leader in terms of authors’ collections at country level with combined collections by the rights organizations ASCAP and BMI surpassing the $2bn mark. Europe is biggest region, accounting for more than half of the global total.

Big jump in global performance rights earnings in 2014
Performance rights distributions broke new records in 2014 with total payments rising to their highest levels and distributions to performers topping $1bn for the first time. Often seen as the poor relation to authors’ rights, combined global payments to producers and performers exceeded $2.4bn and accounted for just under 15% of global recorded music industry revenue. Global receipts from performance rights remain dominated by the US organization SoundExchange and the continued growth in payments to SoundExchange is the biggest source of growth for the performance rights sector. However, even excluding the US organization, distributions to performers and producers were still up on 2013, albeit by a reduced rate.

Music goes mobile in India with Saavn leading the charge
Indian digital music provider Saavn had been grabbing headlines recently as “India’s answer to Spotify.” The company secured a huge injection of cash last summer and has some high-profile names in its management team, while its user numbers are growing apace. But Saavn faces some serious competition, not least from powerful telcos such as Airtel. Moreover, Apple Music landed in India during the summer and is clearly very well placed to take market share. As elsewhere, digital music consumption is migrating to mobile, so getting services right on that platform in a fast-growing smartphone market will be key. Content will be important too, with local music an essential part of the mix for Indian consumers.

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 profile. Spain’s music industry is on something of a roll at the moment after many years of contraction. Recorded music sales increased in 2014, the first time in 12 years, and have continued to rise this year. Royalty collections in the country edged up in 2014 after three straight years of decline. The live sector also registered a positive year with turnover up and prospects for 2015 thought to be good. The optimistic figures come at a time when the Spanish economy is showing real signs of improvement. However, it is worth remembering that the music industry, particularly the recorded music sector, has a long way to go before it can declare itself out of the woods. Also, the live sector is continuing to push for a lowering of the VAT rate on cultural events, which continues to exert downward pressure on promoters’ earnings.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.