Tagged: collection society

New issue of Music & Copyright with Germany country report

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

EU committees’ views on upload filters highlight differing attitudes to modern copyright protection
The European Commission (EC) is currently pushing forward with a set of reforms aimed at overhauling the current rules on copyright. Delivered by President Jean-Claude Junker as part of his “state of the union” address at the European Parliament last year, the proposals formed part of the EC’s Digital Single Market initiative. Included in the proposals were new rules on how video-sharing platforms remunerate the online exploitation of creators’ works and how those works are protected. Controversially, Junker introduced the idea that the video platforms will have an obligation to deploy effective means to automatically detect songs or audiovisual works that rights holders have identified. In July, two committees involved in the process of establishing the precise wording of the copyright reforms gave their opinions on the role of upload filters to weed out copyright-infringing content. The subsequent views and opinions from industry stakeholders and rights activists suggest the road to a comprehensive and all-encompassing agreement may be a long one.

Stream-ripping research questions YouTube’s status as a valued partner to the music industry
New research published by PRS for Music and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has concluded that stream ripping is now the most prevalent and fastest-growing form of music piracy in the UK. Nearly 70% of music-specific infringement is dominated by the illegal online activity. PRS and the IPO jointly commissioned two separate studies to understand the impact of stream ripping on the UK market and on online consumer behavior. The research adds to a number of studies that have highlighted how online piracy is shifting from websites offering access to downloads toward stream ripping from a variety of music and video services. Repeating previous research, PRS and the IPO identified Google-owned YouTube as the most popular source of content for stream-ripping sites. Although the majority of traffic to stream-ripping sites was found to come from individuals seeking the sites directly, search engines were also believed to be delivering a significant proportion of traffic to the illegal services.

HDS ZAMP reports rise in domestic and international royalty receipts
Croatian authors’ society HDS ZAMP registered a positive year for royalty collections at home and abroad last year. Although receipts from TV broadcasters edged down, rises elsewhere, notably from general licensing, live music, and radio more than made up the difference. Mechanical collections benefited from higher sales of physical formats, and income from digital music services more than doubled. Digital collections as a share of total receipts remain low, due to the limited number of services in the country, but licensing efforts are set to boost this number. Despite slightly higher costs, the authors’ society recorded a rise in distributable revenue last year and a decrease in its cost ratio.

Germany country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Germany music industry report. Retail sales of recorded music in Germany are on something of a roll at the moment. German trade association BVMI reported a fourth consecutive year of growth in January, with a big jump in revenue from subscriptions and streaming fully offsetting the falls in spending on CD albums and music downloads. Although revenue from access services now accounts for the biggest share of digital music income, CD albums remain the most popular format for German consumers. Authors’ society GEMA has also registered four straight years of revenue growth with total collections last year, topping €1bn ($1.1bn) for the first time. Germany’s live music sector continues to deliver stable results. However, there have been some notable shifts within the market, largely following the entry of Live Nation at the beginning of 2016.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with UK country report

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

Plotting the rise of paid audio subscriptions and the end of smooth lines and growth curves
Earlier this year, global trade body the IFPI reported that audio subscriptions were on course to become the biggest source of revenue for music companies. Digital as a whole overtook physical in 2014, and streaming became the biggest revenue generator in 2016. However, although the CD album was still the single revenue source when streaming is broken out into its three constituent parts, paid audio subscriptions is set to take the lead this year. The rise of the paid subscription from niche revenue source just a few years ago can only be described as rapid, and recent record-company results have illustrated the importance of access services to the companies’ bottom lines. As part of our annual look at the latest developments in the music subscription sector, we explain why streaming is now so important for the recorded-music industry and why the rise of access services is the beginning of the end for the well-established trend of straight-line growth and decline.

ECJ issues ruling on internet sharing platforms’ role in copyright infringement
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued a preliminary ruling in a case referred by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands on the legality of websites and services offering the indexation of metadata relating to protected works, which enable internet users to locate copy-protected works and share them online. The ECJ said that making available and managing an online platform for sharing copyright-protected works may constitute an infringement of copyright. Even if the copyright-protected works are placed online by the users of the online sharing platform, the ECJ confirmed that the operators of that platform play an essential role in making those works available. The case was first brought by Dutch antipiracy organization Stichting Brein against internet service providers (ISPs) Ziggo and XS4ALL to force them to block the domain names and IP addresses of torrent tracker site The Pirate Bay.

Sharp rise in private copying collections boosts ARTISJUS results
Hungarian authors’ society ARTISJUS has reported a return to growth in royalty collections following a fall in 2015. A boost from retroactive private copying collections in 2014 was the main cause for the year-on-year decline the following year. However, sharp organic growth in private copying income last year, along with positive results from public performance and cable retransmission, took ARTISJUS’s total revenue close to the 2014 record. Digital collections were particularly positive, although they still accounted for a minor source of income for Hungarian authors. ARTISJUS noted in its business report that the focus of digital exploitation has shifted from downloading to streaming, resulting in much heavier administration in the course of the collection and distribution of royalties. Local VOD services generated around three-quarters of digital royalties, with international music services accounting for the remainder.

UK country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed UK music industry report. The UK’s recorded-music industry is experiencing something of a growth spurt at the moment. Three straight years of decline ended in 2013 with a rise in trade earnings from recorded music. Although revenue slipped back in 2014, the country has subsequently registered two consecutive years of growth. The retail value of recorded-music sales has also risen year on year with subscription sales and streaming growth more than offsetting lower spending on singles and albums. Royalty collections in the UK are also showing positive signs, with both PRS for Music and PPL registering annual growth. Live music continues to be the most robust leisure sector in the UK with tours and festival appearances still the most secure way for artists to generate revenue. However, despite the relatively buoyant stadium and arena sector, the ongoing decline in the number of smaller music venues is a cause for concern.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with Indonesia country report

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

Spotify agrees to settle US copyright-infringement claims
Spotify is settling a legal claim made by a group of authors that accused the streaming service of reproducing and distributing sound recordings without the necessary license. At the end of 2015, the artist David Lowery filed a class-action copyright lawsuit at the Central District Court of California, claiming $150m in damages because the service had failed to identify or locate the owners of certain compositions for payment that it has distributed, and had not issued a notice of intent to employ a compulsory license. This was followed a month or so later by a second lawsuit filed at the same court by artist Melissa Ferrick claiming the same copyright infringements but with a damages claim of $200m. The settlement will see Spotify create a fund to compensate class members for the service’s past streaming and hosting of tracks. Spotify will also assist class members to determine which of their music works have been streamed by the service and compensate the authors for any ongoing use.

Digital takes the domestic lead for Swedish authors and publishers
Swedish authors’ society STIM has reported record financials, with total collections and distributions to its members topping the previous year’s high. Collections from online and new media services were again the standout revenue source. Although the growth rate has slowed, digital is now the biggest source of domestic royalty receipts for Swedish authors and publishers. The previous leader was broadcasting, and a slight overall slip in collections from radio aided digital’s rise to the top spot. Collections from overseas remained the biggest income source for STIM’s author and publisher members despite last year’s slight dip in foreign earnings. Royalties from festivals and live music concerts reversed two consecutive years of decline and grew sharply. Collections from hotels also registered notable growth, along with music in the workplace.

Brands look to place music at the center of the evolving marketing mix
Brands have been quick to associate themselves with music-oriented social media networks as part of a push to communicate with young audiences. Video social networking platform Musical.ly has emerged as a favorite for a number of brands looking to market their product to younger demographics. Brands are also looking to create retail ambiences based on more tailored playlists. However, there are risks involved in leaning heavily on influencer marketing associated with social platforms. Also, despite the increased brand-associated marketing engagement, music companies and brands need to work harder on using music to get closer, and to provide something more engaging and useful than a mere lifestyle soundtrack.

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. For many years, Indonesia has been considered a music market in the midst of development but one that offers great potential. The marketplace for creative content has suffered over the years from widespread piracy, with unauthorized CD albums on sale for a fraction of the price of legitimate copies. More recently, digital piracy has grown in line with internet access. Indonesia is no different than several other Asian territories in that unlicensed content is widely available. But, unlike most other countries in the region, it has made notable progress with regards to protection of intellectual property rights.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with Finland country report

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

WMG makes recorded-music market share gains, while indies extend publishing lead
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. For the second consecutive year, recorded-music leader UMG lost market share, while smaller major WMG closed the gap on second-placed SME. Increased granularity of published music company data meant for the first time the annual survey contained market share figures for music streaming. Sony remained the leader in terms of corporate control of music publishing, though its share has fallen for two straight years. Little change in share for second-placed UMPG meant the company narrowed the gap with Sony. The collective shares of the independent publishing sector registered the biggest publishing share increase, with leading indies BMG and Kobalt both making market share gains.

Domestic collection growth for SENA, but lower US income hits overall total
SENA, the Dutch collection society representing performers and producers (record companies), has reported 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. Similarly, total domestic invoiced licensing revenue registered growth, but overseas invoiced revenue fell. Distributions in the Netherlands and abroad were also down last year. General licensing was the biggest collection source for SENA members, ahead of broadcasting. SENA noted in its annual report that a joint-venture service center created with the authors’ society BUMA began dealing with its individual and collective licensing agreements from the beginning of last year. The aim of the venture is to create efficiency savings for the two societies.

ECJ backs Stichting Brein in media player copyright case
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has sided with the Dutch antipiracy group Stichting Brein in a case concerning the sale of a multimedia player that enables copyright-protected audiovisual content to be viewed for free. The defendant in the case is an online retailer of a multimedia player that contained open source software that enabled video files to be played through an interface. The court decided that the multimedia player enabled a communication to the public of audiovisual content as described in the 2001 European Copyright Directive and so breached European law. The court also ruled that temporary acts of reproduction as carried out by the multimedia player of a copyright-protected work obtained by streaming on a website belonging to a third party was not exempt from legislation covering the right of reproduction.

Finland country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Finland music industry report. Finland is just outside of the global top 20 in terms of trade revenue from recorded music. But, despite its small size, the country is a market leader with regards to progress in the digital transition from ownership to access. Subscription services already account for around two-thirds of recorded-music trade earnings in the country, and this share is expected to rise further as the previous reliance on physical formats slips away and sales of downloads disappear. UMG took the top spot in market share terms last year, replacing WMG, which had been the leader for several years. Royalty earnings were positive, with collections from music use maintaining a well-established growth trend. The country’s live sector also registered a good year despite attendance at festivals suffering from poor weather conditions.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with India country report

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

Pay-monthly bundle opportunities for recorded music are expanding
Offering customers who buy one product a discount on another is a practice the retail sector has engaged in for decades. “Buy one, get one free” and “three for the price of two” are just two retail discounting terms most people are familiar with. Bricks-and-mortar sellers of music and other entertainment products have for a long time happily grouped together hard formats into multimedia bundles in an effort to boost sales, and this practice has been a central feature of most online retail sites. More recently, the rise of the fixed regular fee for access to music has given streaming services and communications providers, both of which charge for their services on a monthly basis, the opportunity to combine their offerings. However, consumers also pay monthly for many other financial necessities and household utilities. Although there might seem to be little connection between the likes of Deezer and Spotify and energy or water suppliers, the willingness of some services and suppliers to experiment suggests that the distribution of recorded music is set to experience another major evolution.

French recorded-music sales have an encouraging year, but medium-term concerns remain
French music trade association SNEP has reported a rise in trade earnings from recorded-music sales. Total trade income increased year-on-year, marking only the second time in the last 10 years that sales registered an uptick. Subscriptions and ad-supported streaming were the two growth sectors, with sales of single track and album downloads down sharply. The overall performance was buoyed by a modest dip in trade earnings from physical format sales, with digital more than offsetting the physical losses. However, physical formats still accounted for the majority of trade revenue, and there remains concerns over the medium-term prospects for the French recorded-music sector should the rate of decline in CD album sales begin to accelerate.

Graduated response and litigation not enough in the ongoing battle against music piracy
Graduated-response mechanisms appeared to have had their day, as evidenced by the recent closure of a number of programs, most notably in the US. However, content owners and ISPs have now joined forces to roll out a warning-notice project in the UK, with a view to steering primarily young demographics away from illegal file-sharing websites and toward legitimate sources. The efficacy of graduated response in deterring music piracy – as well as in promoting the use of rights-protected content – has always been contested. As pirates turn to innovative ways of illicitly disseminating music, the industry needs to come up with new responses to the threat.

India country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed India music industry report. India’s music industry is regularly grouped together with those of a small number of countries that for years have underperformed but that offer great potential to become major markets of the future. With the country accounting for almost one-fifth of the world’s population and with an economy that is growing steadily, tapping into what is a market ripe for exploitation is high on the recorded-music industry’s list of priorities. However, India has yet to live up to the promise of its “emerging” label, with favorable results one year followed by poor sales the next. Arguably the biggest problem for the country is piracy. Retailers have always struggled to compete in a market flooded with illegal copies. Moreover, rising internet penetration has brought with it increased access to unauthorized music distribution sites and services. There is some hope that streaming will be the way out of the piracy problem, but the road to greater sales and meaningful returns is likely to be a long one.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright

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

EU negotiators agree on new rules for cross-border online content service use
European Union (EU) negotiators have agreed on a series of new rules allowing citizens of member states to maintain access to online content services when they travel out of their home country around the EU. Services covered by the new cross-border rules include films, sports events, e-books, video games, and music. The agreement marks the first related to the modernization of EU copyright rules as proposed by the European Commission as part of its Digital Single Market strategy announced in May 2015. The next step will see the agreement formally confirmed by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. Once adopted, the new rules will become applicable in all member states by beginning of 2018.

Sixteen countries singled out by the IIPA in latest copyright enforcement report
The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) has released its annual report detailing the impact that piracy and limitations on market access are having on US copyright holders in the worst-offending countries around the world. Eight countries were placed on the priority watch list with a further eight countries placed on the watch list. In line with last year’s change on previous annual reports, the latest IIPA release focuses on markets where the organization believes that active engagement by the US government could generate positive results for creators and the industries that support them. The IIPA said that in several key foreign markets, meeting the challenges identified in its report would create US jobs, promote exports, and contribute substantially to healthy economic growth in the US and overseas.

Major labels file copyright lawsuit against mixtape service Spinrilla
Mixtape site Spinrilla and its founder are being sued by the major record companies for alleged copyright infringement of their works. The labels filed a lawsuit in an Atlanta district court claiming that Spinrilla has profited from widespread copyright infringement for at least three years. The site and accompanying mobile apps allow users to freely stream and download content as well as make playlists and share music. The labels are claiming Spinrilla has committed direct and secondary copyright infringement and are claiming the maximum statutory damages or actual damages, including Spinrilla’s profits from its infringement.

Spain’s recorded-music sector sees third consecutive year of growth
After a long period of year-on-year contractions in trade earnings from recorded-music sales, Spanish trade body Promusicae has reported a third successive year of growth. Although combined revenue from physical and digital formats and on-demand access services only edged up last year, and although the growth rate was lower than the previous two years, the sector’s performance was notable for a number of reasons. Digital income overtook earnings from physical formats for the first time, and access services generated more than half of the overall recorded-music revenue total. The vinyl revival continued, and earnings from mobile personalization rose sharply. Despite the continued good news, it is sobering to remember that total trade revenue is still a quarter of the size it was at the turn of the century.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with Canada country report

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

Sprint-backed Tidal set to challenge the US music-streaming leaders
Music subscription service Tidal has sold a third stake in the company to US mobile operator Sprint. In what is being seen as a win/win for the two companies, Tidal will gain access to new finance, Sprint’s customer base, and a dedicated artist marketing fund, while Sprint will be able to offer its users a music streaming service brimming with exclusives and rare recordings and video footage. Questions have been raised over the price paid by Sprint for its stake. However, if the service boosts the mobile operator’s performance indicators, other operators in the country might follow suit and look more closely at one of the other smaller music services.

Honoring dead artists and managing commercial exploitation is tricky to get right
Unfortunately for many music fans around the world, last year was notable for the number of high-profile artists and performers that passed away. Famous names including David Bowie, Glen Frey, Leonard Cohen, Prince, and George Michael all died in 2016, leaving copyrights to some of the world’s biggest and best-selling musical works to others. In most cases, there are provisions for both what to do with those works and who benefits from them while they are in copyright. However, in some cases, heirs can be forced to make tough decisions to balance preserving an artist or performer’s legacy and the necessary business of commercial exploitation. History has shown there is big money to be made after a popular artist dies, but making sure a legacy created over a number of years is not tarnished by quick decisions can prove difficult.

Japan heading for a full-year fall in recorded-music sales
New figures published by the Japanese recorded-music trade association, the RIAJ, show that the total production value of physical formats and the number of units produced were down in 2016 compared with 2015. Both audio and video formats suffered a production dip; however, the rate of decline was fairly modest compared with some of the sizeable falls experienced in a number of other developed markets. No full-year figures for digital trade earnings have been released yet, but based on digital revenue in the first nine months of 2016, the world’s second-biggest recorded-music market looks set to register a slight overall decline.

Canada country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Canada music industry report. Canada’s music industry registered an improved performance in 2016. Recorded-music sales in unit terms grew, on the back of a big jump in streaming. Whether that rise converts to revenue growth will be confirmed in the next couple of months, when the IFPI publishes trade revenue figures for the country. UMG remains the clear market share leader, ahead of SME. However, both majors experienced a dip in market share in 2016, with WMG and the indie sector making gains. Preliminary details published by authors’ society SOCAN show that royalty collections were up for the fourth year in a row, with the level of royalties collected and distributed all breaking previous records. Canada’s live music industry is also thought to have had a good 2016.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.