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.

BMI wins the latest royalty battle in the ongoing rate dispute with Pandora
A New York rate court has decided that US online radio service Pandora must pay BMI, the performing rights organization (PRO), 2.5% of revenue for the use of authors’ and music publishers’ content. In making its decision, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York decided that the rate proposed by BMI was reasonable, despite being at the low end of what BMI had hoped for. However, the rate is still higher that the 1.85% rate Pandora pays to ASCAP. That rate was affirmed by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals in April after ASCAP had appealed a 2014 rate court decision. Previously, Pandora had paid BMI 1.75% of revenue and so, with the online radio service expected to generate around $1bn in revenue this year, the increased royalty payment to BMI could be as high as $75m. Pandora, which ended March with 79.2 million users, has said it will appeal the New York rate court decision.

Public performance gains return Czech authors’ society OSA to growth in 2014
Czech authors’ society OSA has reported a return to growth in royalty collections in 2014 after a slight dip in 2013. Despite a fall in broadcasting income and earnings from abroad, record collections from both public performance and digital boosted the authors’ society’s revenue to a new high. A good year for OSA also included a fall in costs and a subsequent decrease in costs as a share of collections, as well as a rise in distributions to its members.

Growth for all the major music groups in 1Q15
With UMG the last of the three major music companies to publish financial details for the first three months of 2015, a comparison of their respective performances reveals all of the companies posted year-on-year growth. Previous year-on-year comparisons of the three companies’ recorded music and music publishing sectors have been distorted by company acquisitions and sell-offs, and exchange rate fluctuations. However, with most dealings completed more than a year ago, the only major influencing factor in first quarter comparisons was exchange rates. Factoring in fluctuating current rates suggests that all three majors have got off to a good start in 2015. There are, however, still nagging doubts as to whether 2015 will be the year that the recorded music sector as a whole posts positive gains, and whether music publishing can register another year of growth.

On the Radar: BackBeat Solutions
A new “on the radar” section in Music & Copyright begins with a look at BackBeat Solutions, a company that provides pre-packaged deal management, royalties accounting, multi-platform publishing, and content services. It has a client portfolio in Europe and the US comprising tier-two music labels and music publishers. Founder Chris Chambers’ long association with the music licensing area has helped it secure projects for BMG Chrysalis, Fintage House, and Imagem Music Publishing.

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 profile. Optimism about a return to longer-term recorded music growth in the UK was quickly extinguished with the publication of last year’s trade results. Three straight years of decline ended in 2013 with a rise in trade revenue. However, recorded music sales slipped back again in 2014 with the rising income from streaming services unable to match the drop in downloads and CD album sales. The UK may well register growth again this year though as streaming increases in popularity. Royalty collections matched the recorded music decline last year with PRS for Music registering its first rights contraction since 2010. A rise in broadcast, digital, and public performance collections could not fully offset the fall in overseas income and mechanicals. The live sector remains strong, although research suggests small venues are under considerable pressure, both financially and regulatory.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

Has the music industry forgiven Justin Timberlake for his MySpace links and accusations of artist exploitation?

myspace_2452447bDepending on where a musician sits in the music industry value chain, a top-10 list of what’s most important to an unsigned artist will differ greatly to one compiled by a million-album seller. Scratching a living out of music is something tens of thousands of musicians do every day. Although the Internet has opened up the promotion and distribution of music to anyone with a computer, it has also made selling music a lot more difficult as almost every single release in a digital-music store is available for free somewhere online. Continue reading “Has the music industry forgiven Justin Timberlake for his MySpace links and accusations of artist exploitation?”

Does the fragmentation of today’s recorded-music industry make the return to global growth largely symbolic?

Global musicCelebrating a rise in global recorded-music trade revenues is something most in the music industry under the age of 30 have never done. After a flattening in trade revenues in 1999, every subsequent year through 2011 saw revenues drop. Last year, however, the industry experienced slight growth, bringing an end to a 12-year contraction streak.

The IFPI cautioned against getting too carried away with the result, and digging into the different national-trade-association results suggests it was right to do so. Moreover, although a 9% rise in digital sales was the driving force behind the return to overall growth, the differences in the performance and transformation of the leading markets effectively make any evaluation of the global recorded-music industry almost irrelevant. Continue reading “Does the fragmentation of today’s recorded-music industry make the return to global growth largely symbolic?”

Pop to the rescue of the music industry

New research published today by the Informa news service Music & Copyright reveals that global retail sales of pop music increased 2.3% last year, to US$7.5 billion. Pop ended 2011 as the world’s favorite music genre, accounting for 31.9% of global music sales. Total retail sales slipped 3.7% last year, to US$23.3 billion, so the growth of pop sales was all the more impressive. Continue reading “Pop to the rescue of the music industry”

Japanese consumers are the biggest music buyers

It is no surprise to hear that the US is the largest music market in the world. Despite sales crumbling in the last couple of years, the US still accounts for around 30% of global spending on recorded-music. What is a little surprising is the fact that the US is only the 10th largest market in the world in terms of per capita spending on music. Despite trailing the US by more than US$2 billion last year in the retail value of recorded-music sales, Japan was the world leader for per capita music spending. Continue reading “Japanese consumers are the biggest music buyers”

Rock fails to burst the pop bubble in 2010

The two most popular music genres in terms of retail sales last year were pop and rock. According to the annual genre study by Music & Copyright, retail sales of pop music stood at US$7.3 billion in 2010, while retail sales of rock music totaled US$6.2 billion. Pop sales had a better year than rock, falling by just 3% compared with rock’s decline of 6.6%. However, sales of jazz, classical and other smaller genres fared worse last year. Continue reading “Rock fails to burst the pop bubble in 2010”

MIDEM and the music industry in 2011

MIDEM is now over for another year and representatives from all sectors of the music industry are busy digesting the comings and goings of the event. Some conference themes followed on from where they left off last year, whilst others debated new business models that rose to prominence during 2010. There were numerous cases of the traditional music industry bumping heads with supporters of these new business models. But at a number of conferences and panel sessions, there seemed to be a better understanding of some of the issues and concerns on all sides as well as a greater willingness from most of the participants to go that bit further to get their heads around each other’s issues, which in previous years, had been a source of major division. There were of course still plenty of areas of disagreement but on the whole all parties exchanged handshakes rather than insults. Continue reading “MIDEM and the music industry in 2011”

News Corp. may be looking to sell MySpace, but social media’s role in the music industry just keeps growing

With the rumor mill almost on fire with news circulating that News Corp. may be on the lookout for a buyer for MySpace, it seems odd to think that such a successful corporation would look to get rid of a social networking Web site at a time when social media is really coming of age as a means of mass distribution for the music industry.

Just recently, Lady Gaga set a record for the number of overall views of an artist’s music videos on video-streaming service YouTube when her total exceeded 1 billion. To announce her reaction, she posted a message on Twitter that stated: “We reached 1 Billion views on YouTube little monsters! If we stick together we can do anything. I dub u kings and queens of YouTube! Unite!”. Continue reading “News Corp. may be looking to sell MySpace, but social media’s role in the music industry just keeps growing”

Big differences in Beatles album pricing

With much of the hype surrounding the Beatles’ music being added to iTunes now starting to fade, all attention is turning to chart placings for both single tracks and the albums. Despite Apple winning the race to secure the digital exclusive on the Beatles, CD versions of the albums are likely to see a sales increase on the back of all the free advertising.

Music & Copyright has conducted a quick survey of some of the leading online CD retailers in the UK to see what, if any, pricing differences exist between the digital versions offered by iTunes and the retailers’ CD versions. The results were quite surprising. Continue reading “Big differences in Beatles album pricing”

Fan-funded companies continue to innovate, but is the sector’s bubble about to burst?

Fan-funding models are not receiving the headlines this year that they did in 2009. However, the sector is continuing to produce innovative business models all based on the concept of getting an artist’s followers to finance musical activities. But with the more-high-profile services showing signs of strain, this business model faces a testing time ahead.

The global financial crisis, coupled with pressures from online file sharing, has put more pressure on all recording companies to achieve a higher success rate when it comes to breaking new artists. Although unsigned artists have always found it difficult to attract investment, the current climate has intensified the difficulties associated with persuading a record company to provide financial backing. Still, the fan-funded model of backing an artist or band continues to result in innovative ways of funding music projects. Continue reading “Fan-funded companies continue to innovate, but is the sector’s bubble about to burst?”