The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Gains for digital and physical boost US recorded-music sales to a seventh year of growth
US trade group the RIAA has reported another year of rising trade and retail sales of recorded-music. Streaming was again the main growth provider, with $900m extra from the five different streaming categories. Such has been the rise in all things access, streaming revenue alone last year was more than $1bn higher than the entire US recorded-music market in 2020. There was, however, a notable decrease in the growth rates for the different streaming subsectors. For example, paid subscriptions and subscriber revenue both rose at single-digit percentage points. Also, performance rights distributions by SoundExchange were down year-on-year. Physical sales were boosted by the continued renaissance of vinyl, with the increase in sales of the age-old format more than offsetting a sharp decline in spending on CDs. Unit sales of vinyl exceeded CDs for the first time since 1987.
Slowdown in subscription and vinyl sales as BPI reports UK recorded-music results
UK music trade association the BPI has reported a positive 12 months for recorded-music trade sales. However, the overall growth rate was down sharply on the prior year. Perhaps most concerning is the slowdown in revenue from music subscriptions, with the year-on-year rise in the low single-digit percentage points. Audio advertising registered healthy growth, and income from video streaming was also up. The resurgence of vinyl continued, with revenue from the format overtaking CDs for the first time in 35 years. But the low growth rate compared with 2021 suggests the renaissance of the age-old format may be coming to an end. Both performance rights and synchronization continued to bounce back after a tough 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
K-pop’s growing popularity spawns a clash of the genre giants
The ongoing success of K-pop, both in its home South Korean market and overseas, sparked a spot of corporate warfare among the sector’s leading protagonists. SM Entertainment (SMEnt) became the takeover target of both major South Korean tech group Kakao and rival K-pop outfit HYBE. The latter now looks to have withdrawn from the fray—both companies’ efforts have been complicated by familial rivalry, bids, and counterbids, along with a court injunction—leaving Kakao the task of persuading SMEnt investors to support its latest bid. Should it succeed, SMEnt is set to emulate HYBE and push K-pop further onto the international stage.
Indonesia country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Indonesia music industry report. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, behind China, India, and the US: the country ended 2022 with 279.1 million inhabitants. Despite its large population, Indonesia has always massively underperformed as a recorded-music market, with the legal sector long struggling to gain a foothold because of persistently high piracy rates. However, music streaming’s success around the world is influencing Indonesia, with a mixture of services now available offering access to several million local and international recordings. The collection of royalties has also changed. In 2019, the government and the different collective management organizations agreed on a one-stop-shop administration, with a single agency given the authority to collect and distribute royalties from commercial music users. The live sector has suffered a couple of bad years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures introduced to control the spread of the virus. Following a sharp fall in ticket sales in 2020, some live performances resumed at the end of 2021, but it was last year that saw a fuller return for the sector, with ticket sales returning to prepandemic levels.
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