Japanese consumers turning away from mobile music formats in ever greater numbers

Music buyers in Japan are continuing to confound the rest of world, with digital sales falling and physical-format sales rising. Recent figures published by Japanese music trade association the RIAJ show that the once loved mobile music formats are continuing to suffer big drops in sales. Internet sales are growing but nowhere near fast enough to stem Japan’s digital-music collapse. Continue reading “Japanese consumers turning away from mobile music formats in ever greater numbers”


The recorded-music industry is still a US$40 billion business

Over the past decade or so, the assessment of the recorded-music industry has shifted from retail sales to trade value. The complexities and the growing number of business models involved in the delivery of digital music, coupled with unknown retail markups, make quantifying the retail value of recorded-music sales speculative at best. But the enduring appeal of ring tones and ring-back tones in some less-developed countries suggests that the size of the global retail pie has not changed; there are just more players taking a slice. Continue reading “The recorded-music industry is still a US$40 billion business”

An update on mobile apps and the music industry

Most mobile music services use pay-per-track and subscription-based pricing models, but some operators have started offering music services bundled with their mobile subscriptions. Full tracks are sometimes thrown in as a “free” extra to motivate people to take out a mobile subscription or data plan or to top up their prepaid credit. An example of the latter is Orange’s Monkey prepaid plan in the UK, in which users get free music for topping up as little as £5 (US$7.75).
Continue reading “An update on mobile apps and the music industry”

Fox Mobile sale shows how far things have moved on from ‘Crazy Frog’ heyday

Coming as it did just two days before Christmas Eve, the announcement went almost unnoticed. But it was a biggie: Media giant News Corp. divested itself of its ailing mobile entertainment arm, Fox Mobile Group (FMG), selling it to industrial conglomerate Jesta Group, a newcomer to the mobile content scene with interests in a disparate assortment of industries, including real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, technology and aviation. Continue reading “Fox Mobile sale shows how far things have moved on from ‘Crazy Frog’ heyday”

Africa looking more like a mobile music market ready for the taking

Looking into the potential of Africa as a possible source of recorded-music sales always seems to end with depressing results. South Africa is the only market with reliable figures as the rest of the region is dominated by piracy. But, the rise in the level of active mobile subscriptions just may provide some hope for the music industry. According to Informa Telecoms & Media, the publisher of Music & Copyright, Africa crossed the half-a-billion mark for mobile subscriptions in 3Q10, reaching 506 million at end-September. Africa accounts for 10% of the world’s mobile subscriptions and is one of the world’s fastest-growing regions – with the subscription numbers increasing 18% over the year to end-September – as a result of the still low mobile penetration rate on the continent as well as demand for new services. Continue reading “Africa looking more like a mobile music market ready for the taking”

Gene Simmons tells TV industry to learn from music business

Rock and TV star Gene Simmons told the TV industry that branding is everything and it needs to better embrace that. In a conference session at the MIPCOM TV market in Cannes hosted by Infoma Telecoms & Media’s Peter White, Simmons said the TV business needed ‘a kick in the pants’ and ‘needs to get sleeker and hipper.’ Informa is the publisher of Music & Copyright.

Simmons was in town to celebrate his A&E reality series Gene Simmons Family Jewels hitting the 100 episode mark and in a keynote address, he spoke to delegates about how he had built the brand of his rock ban KISS and built the TV show from a special to a long-running series.

“It’s your professional duty to make sure your brand spreads,” he told delegates. “I would rather be Disney than Sony, Lionsgate or Paramount – brands mean everything.”

A&E Network and BIO president and GM Bob DeBitetto explained how the Gene Simmons show had been used to build the A&E brand as it repositioned itself from ‘PBS with commercials’ to a more mainstream entertainment offering.

“We always look for shows that can help us differentiate ourselves,” he said. “When I saw the special with Gene it struck me how different it was – there was something unexpected about a rock star who is also a phenomenal family guy. At that time we were trying to reinvent A&E with programmes that surprised people. [KISS and Gene Simmons] were a bigger brand than we were and I thought why not try and get next to that.”

Simmons went on to say that KISS was the pioneering brand in exploiting the brand across all available platforms and that rights owners should heed the lessons of the music business and protect their intellectual property at every turn.

“Be litigious,” he advised delegates. “Sue everybody, take their houses, their cars. The music industry was asleep at the wheel and didn’t have the balls to sue every freckle-faced kid who downloaded tracks.”

If you want to hear what Simmons said then watch the interview in full.

Music & Copyright is a fortnightly research service published by Informa Telecoms & Media.