Tagged: collection society

New issue of Music & Copyright

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

Brexit and the implications for the UK music copyright sector
As the world comes to terms with the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU), many in the music industry are figuring out what “Brexit” will mean to them. Stakeholders across the industry have voiced their surprise at the result as well as concern about its potential impact, but they have also expressed a willingness to not let the referendum result affect what has long been a multinational business sector. According to EU rules, the UK has two years to untangle itself from the various EU institutions. This means that although little will change in the short term, UK rights holders face uncertainty once negotiators on both sides start poring over the finer details of Brexit.

Combined BUMA and STEMRA collections up for the fourth consecutive year
Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA have reported a fourth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies grew at an increased rate last year, with gains reported in both performance and mechanical rights. Strong growth in streaming in the Netherlands resulted in a sharp rise in digital collections for BUMA. However, digital remains a small source of revenue for authors and publishers in the country. STEMRA’s income benefitted from a big jump in private copying remuneration following changes in rates and the extension of fees to e-readers.

Where have the courts left us with music copyright?
Typically, when cases involving music are brought before the courts, the trials revolve around one of two rights: either the copyright in the song itself (i.e. the musical score and the lyrics) or the copyright in the actual recording of the song (i.e. cases involving sampling of the recording). A number of music cases recently have involved both types of copyright and have shown that where there’s a right, there’s a fight – especially when significant cash is at stake. In this article, Luke Hill, intellectual property lawyer at Marks & Clerk, examines some recent copyright cases both in Europe and the US, to explain how the law is developing and assess the implications for artists and rights holders.

Brazil country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Brazil music industry profile. Following four straight years of growth, trade earnings from recorded music in Brazil edged down last year. Revenue from digital sales and services more than offset a fall in sales of physical formats, but the drop in performance rights income meant total Brazilian record company earnings contracted for the first time since 2010. Despite the overall decline, there were positive developments in the subscription sector, with trade earnings from the likes of Deezer, Napster, and Spotify almost trebling. Moreover, combined income from subscriptions and advertising is now the biggest revenue source for Brazilian record companies, overtaking the previous favorite, CDs. UMG held on to the leading position it gained from SME in 2013, but local independent Som Livre registered the biggest market share gains in 2015. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported its first decrease in collections this century, blaming difficult trading conditions. Brazilian events promoter Time For Fun (T4F) reported a flat 2015 for sales but began 2016 with a doubling of revenue in the first three months, a record for a single quarter.

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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.

Guvera lifts the lid on its finances and business strategy
Guvera’s plans for an IPO remain in the balance after the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) decided to block the streaming service’s listing. The Australian service detailed its IPO plans at the end of May, but when it published its supporting prospectus, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) forced a revision of the document. Then, 24 hours after the new prospectus was submitted, the ASX said it was refusing Guvera’s admission to the official list. A meeting between the two parties is set to take place to discuss the decision. Whether the listing takes place at all will soon become clear. Either way, the IPO prospectus has provided an insight into Guvera’s operating performance as well as its future plans. In common with most streaming services that are running up some pretty heavy losses, Guvera’s cost of sales heavily outweigh its revenue. Although the service is available in 20 markets, the prospectus revealed details of Guvera’s plans to concentrate on 10 of those markets, most of which have provided little in the way of earnings for record companies in previous years. Also included in the document is an assessment of the risks faced by investors, fueling the already intense debate on the robustness of the music-streaming business model.

Digital and overseas gains boost STIM revenue to new record
Swedish authors’ society STIM has reported another record financial year with total collections and distributions to its members topping the previous records set in 2014. Collections from online and new media services again registered impressive year-on-year growth. Although broadcasting is still the biggest domestic source of collections, a slight decline in overall broadcasting income, coupled with gains in digital collections, meant the two revenue sources accounted for almost the same share of total domestic income. Collections from overseas remained the biggest income source for STIM’s author and publisher members and last year foreign earnings, particularly from the US and UK, grew sharply. Royalties from festivals and live music concerts suffered a second year of decline after a sharp rise in 2013.

Music’s year of virtual reality has the potential to pay off
The music industry is making a play for virtual reality (VR), and this year will see an array of VR initiatives, leaning primarily on live performance video. The VR segment is set to explode, with gaming likely to be the biggest beneficiary, but music companies could develop a new revenue category built on VR. However, to succeed, they need to ensure that their output is more than mere 360º video. Music content will need to be deeply engaging and immersive if it is to cut through.

JASRAC reports stable year for royalty collections
Japanese authors’ society JASRAC has reported a small decrease in royalty collections in the 12 months to end-March 2016, after a similarly small increase in the previous 12-month period. Despite a rise in general performance and digital collections and a flat year for broadcasting income, the continued decline in mechanical royalties resulted in an overall dip in collections. However, in contrast to collections, JASRAC reported that distributions to members edged up slightly in the year. Broadcasting remained the biggest single source of earnings for Japanese authors.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

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.

ASCAP collections top $1bn for the second consecutive year
US performing rights organization ASCAP has reported a new record for royalty collections with revenue exceeding $1bn for the second year running. The growth came solely from domestic collections with all the major revenue sources recording an increase. Overseas collections were down with distributions to ASCAP members also suffering a decline. ASCAP’s operating expense ratio edged down while the number of performances tracked, matched, and processed for payment rose sharply. Last year ASCAP became the first performing rights organization (PRO) in the US to provide share ownership information in its publicly available online database for the 10 million–plus musical compositions in its repertory.

PRS for Music reports record year for performance royalties
UK authors’ society PRS for Music has reported a record year for performance royalty collections with all the main income sources registering a year-on-year rise. International royalties, the authors’ society’s biggest income source, returned to growth after a dip in 2014 with collections boosted by a number of exceptional payments, cable settlements, and higher broadcasting revenue. Distributions were also up last year compared with 2014 along with net distributable income. However, costs rose sharply, largely because of certain exceptional costs and one-off expenses associated with litigation and planned investments. As a result, the cost-to-income ratio increased year on year.

Big quarter for WMG as streaming takes the recorded music lead
WMG has reported details of the second quarter of its current financial year ending September 2016. Revenue in the January to March period was up at both current and constant exchange rates compared with the first three months of 2015. Notably, revenue from streaming has overtaken that of physical formats to become the biggest source of income for recorded music. Revenue from artist services and expanded rights also increased along with digital and synchronization earnings for the publishing division Warner Chappell. WMG noted that the fall in recorded music licensing earnings was mostly down to the impact of a large initial distribution of PLG neighboring rights income in the second quarter of the previous financial year.

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 profile. Retail sales of recorded music in Germany are on something of a roll at the moment. Trade association BVMI reported a third consecutive year of growth in January thanks to 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 three straight years of revenue growth with total collections last year just edging past the previous year’s record total. Germany’s live industry, the biggest in Europe, is in good shape. The setting up of a Live Nation office in the country has heightened competition in an already competitive sector.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with Italy country report

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

EUIPO report sheds light on young Europeans’ digital content habits
A new report published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has detailed the attitudes and behavior of 15–24-year-olds in terms of digital media and intellectual property rights (IPRs). The report looked at the main drivers and barriers to acquiring digital content made available by both legal and unlicensed online sources. The report found that young European consumers felt there was a lack of information about IPRs that would help them understand the important issues and that the current level of information available is not communicated effectively to their age group. It concluded that these factors combined to produce indifference among many young European consumers, who have been brought up in the digital age, not caring whether they infringe on IPRs when they acquire content.

GEMA reports flat year for collections and distributions
German authors’ society GEMA has reported its financial details for 2015. Total collections matched the previous year’s record total, marking the third consecutive year of growth after two years of decline. Distributions to members were down slightly but were still the second highest ever for the authors’ society. GEMA said expenses grew, but costs as a share of total revenue, excluding certain strategic costs, decreased. The authors’ society noted that its total income benefited last year from export revenue which turned out to be higher than projected, as well as favorable exchange rates. However, despite the steady year, GEMA said collections from digital services did not match the volume of use and payments made by consumers to access these services.

Big music gets to grips with big data
Data is becoming an increasingly essential tool for the music industry. Its proponents believe that robust data collection and analytics can genuinely provide a competitive edge. Festival operators and music-streaming providers have only just begun to effectively mine big data, using it to deliver more value from their products and services. We are likely to see the music industry ramp up its big data capabilities as the opportunities provided by data-driven understanding become clearer. Live music organizers and digital music providers will find themselves at the forefront of this change.

Italy country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Italy music industry profile. Italy was one of the world’s best performing markets for recorded music in 2015. Physical and digital sales growth boosted trade earnings to the highest level since 2008. Although a long way behind Europe’s big three markets of Germany, the UK, and France in terms of trade revenue from recorded music, the country has suffered the same problems associated with high levels of recorded music available online from unlicensed sources. Despite three consecutive years of growth, trade earnings from recorded music are still considerably lower than they were 15 or so years ago. However, continued gains from subscription services suggest the country is on the road to recovery. Live music sales also had a good 2015 with mid-year data from authors’ society SIAE showing a rise in ticket sales to concerts.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with China country report

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

SME labels file copyright-infringement claim against Radionomy
A number of SME record company subsidiaries including Arista Records, LaFace Records, US Latin, and Zomba have filed a copyright-infringement and unfair competition claim at the US District Court for the Northern District of California against the online radio service Radionomy. The labels have filed for seven claims for relief, including direct infringement of their rights under US copyright law; contributory copyright infringement; and inducement to infringe. The labels’ court filing states that they are entitled to the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per track infringed. The lawsuit comes just two months after UMG parent company Vivendi acquired two-thirds of the share capital of Radionomy.

Digital transition continues to dent French recorded music trade sales
French music trade association SNEP has reported a second consecutive annual fall in revenue from the sale of physical and digital music formats and digital access services. Despite sharp growth in trade income from subscription services, a big drop in earnings from physical formats and downloads meant the value of the French recorded music market last year was half of what it was 10 years ago. A good year for performance rights lessened the overall decline. In its report, SNEP drew attention to the rise of subscriptions in France – more than 3 million consumers are now paying for a subscription to one of the many services available in the country. However, with physical formats still dominant and downloads dropping away fast, it seems unlikely that the French recorded music market will return to growth any time soon.

Music video providers look to make consumers pay for the short form
The music video has come a long way since the launch of MTV in the early 1980s. Now the format is part of the short-form-video revolution which led the world to consume some five trillion clips last year. Music video consumption has long shifted online – largely into the hands of YouTube. Much of that content has yet to be fully monetized, but there are major moves underway to make more consumers pay.

China country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed China music industry profile. For many years China has been seen as a music market in the midst of development and one that offers great potential for growth. Certainly the country’s marketplace for creative content is developing rapidly. However, there have been a number of false starts, and industry sectors have been left disappointed with China consistently failing to live up to its billing. More recently though, there have been some glimmers of hope. The latest IFPI figures showed trade revenue was up in 2014 with streaming the big driver of growth. Ovum has estimated growth continued last year, and more is set to come. China’s digital infrastructure is highly developed and with smartphone penetration on the rise, all the requirements for further digital growth are firmly in place. However, some creative sectors continue to suffer against a backdrop of unlicensed services and restrictive practices. Royalty collections have grown consistently for the last six or so years, but given the size of the population and level of music use, rights holders’ earnings measured at a per-capita rate are tiny.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

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.

US court declares big is not bad in Live Nation IMP market abuse case
A US Fourth Circuit appeals court has affirmed a previous district court ruling that global event promoter Live Nation has not violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by engaging in monopolization, tying arrangements, and exclusive dealing in the music concert industry. The long-running case began almost seven years ago when the Maryland-based music promoters, It’s My Party and It’s My Amphitheatre (collectively known as IMP), filed a suit claiming Live Nation had wielded its market power to entice and coerce artists to appear only at amphitheaters and other venues owned or operated by Live Nation. The appeals court said the promoters had failed to define the relevant markets or to demonstrate any anticompetitive conduct.

Second consecutive year of growth for Spain’s recorded music sector
After a lengthy period of annual falls in trade revenue from recorded music sales, Spanish trade body Promusicae has reported a second successive year of growth. Trade earnings from physical and digital formats and on-demand access services grew 6.9% in 2015. Although this rate of growth was much lower than the 20%+ jump in 2014, that year’s growth was boosted by unusually high CD album sales. Crucially for the future of Spain’s record companies, the rise in digital income in 2015 was almost all down to higher streaming earnings more than offsetting lower sales of CD albums and music downloads. 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.

Ukraine tops the IIPA hit list in the latest copyright-protection 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. Ukraine remained top of the IIPA hit list and the only country designated as a priority foreign country. In a slight change on previous annual reports, this year’s IIPA report 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, recommendations adopted could create jobs, increase investment, and contribute generally to healthy economic growth in the US and abroad.

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 profile. South Africa is the biggest music market in Africa. Consumer spending on recorded music and live performance and 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 with its closest neighbors. While this means per-capita spending on music is high compared with other countries in the region, the same problems encountered in the developed world in the shift from physical formats to digital have been experienced in South Africa. Although the rise in high-speed Internet access has exacerbated problems associated with the unauthorized distribution of music, the higher digital sales, rising smartphone penetration, and the move into South Africa by a number of international streaming services suggest the market may be heading for a brighter future.

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 Canada country report

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

Munich court rules in favor of YouTube in GEMA damages case
A court in Munich has ruled that the online video service YouTube is not responsible for copyright infringing content uploaded by the service’s users. The court found that the sole responsibility lies with individual uploaders and that no damages should be paid by YouTube for unlicensed content appearing on the service. German authors’ society GEMA said the decision meant YouTube was presently not financially accountable within the current legal framework when works protected by copyright are used on the platform. GEMA has been at odds with YouTube for a number of years with the two unable to agree rates for a licensing deal.

Stable year for physical music sales in Japan; Avex remains the market share leader
New figures published by the Japanese recorded music trade association the RIAJ show that the total production value of physical formats was unchanged in 2015 compared with 2014. Although the value of audio units slipped slightly, a rise in video units offset the decline. The production value of domestic artist releases increased year-on-year, but the value of international artist releases dropped sharply. According to chart compiler Oricon, Japanese record company Avex remained the leading music company, despite losing market share to local rivals.

CUR Media sets its sights on the “massive” US music streaming market
The latest entrant to the already crowded US music streaming sector is CUR Media’s CUR Music service. First launched as an Internet radio service a few years ago under a different name, the rebranded service rolled out in the US on iOS in January and will be available on Android and the Web in February. Although the service offers fewer tracks than the leading subscription services, the two advertising-free tiers offered cost less than its rivals. Cur Music’s emphasis is on radio and playlists, which puts it up against the likes of Pandora and iHeartRadio. The US has already seen a number of casualties in the streaming sector in the last year or so and with CUR Music seemingly late to the party, the service will do well to hold its own against established offerings that are making most of the running.

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 profile. Canada experienced an improved recorded music sales performance in 2015. Just how much of an improved year 2015 was will be confirmed in the next couple of months when the IFPI publishes trade revenue figures for the country. According to Nielsen Music, unit sales of recorded music were down year-on-year, but a big jump in streaming is likely to have reduced the rate of contraction in trade revenue compared with 2014. UMG remains the clear market share leader, ahead of SME, and preliminary details published by authors’ society SOCAN show royalty collections were up for the third year in a row with the level of royalties identified, collected, and distributed all breaking previous records. Canada’s live music industry is also thought to have had a good 2015.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.