New issue of Music & Copyright with Netherlands country report

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

The evolving relationship between record companies and music streamers
The number of music companies offering opportunities for unsigned artists to distribute their works to digital retailers and access services has risen steadily over the last few years. In most cases, a simple monthly payment allows unsigned artists to distribute their content directly to all the leading services, while at the same time keeping ownership of all the rights associated with their music. However, when the biggest audio-on-demand subscription service in the world acquires one of those companies that offers direct distribution, questions over the subscription service’s intentions are understandably raised. It seems highly unlikely and inadvisable that the likes of Spotify and Apple Music will risk upsetting the major record companies by engaging in record company activities on the eve of new licensing discussions. There is a big difference between greasing the wheels of direct distribution and becoming a record company. But that won’t stop questions being asked about the subscription services’ intentions, particularly if any more acquisitions of the kind described below are in the pipeline.

Record year for producers’ and performers’ rights despite a slowdown in revenue growth
Performance-rights distributions to record companies (producers) and performers registered another record-breaking year in 2017, with total payments rising to their highest levels. Producers’ and performers’ rights have become an important source of income in recent years, given the long demise of recorded-music trade revenue. The return to growth through increased consumer interest in streaming and subscriptions has somewhat overshadowed the importance of performance rights, but the revenue source will remain a key source of earnings, with collections forecast to grow steadily over the next few years. Measured at both reported and constant exchange rates, global performance-rights distributions increased year on year. The US remained the single biggest country for performance rights despite a slight decline in distributions. Europe is the biggest region, with its share of the global total rising for the first time in more than 10 years.

Tracy Chapman sues Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement in commercially unreleased track
US folk singer Tracy Chapman has filed a lawsuit at the US District Court for the Central District of California against Onika Tanya Maraj, professionally known as the rapper Niki Minaj, accusing her and unnamed defendants of copyright infringement. The claim centers on the unauthorized use of a section of lyrics from the Chapman track Baby Can I Hold You for the unreleased Minaj track Sorry. The filing claims that Minaj and a number of her representatives made several requests to license the Chapman composition for use in Sorry, but all these requests were refused. However, the Minaj track was recorded without permission and although it was not included on the intended album, the track was broadcast on several radio shows. Moreover, the track is currently available to stream on YouTube. Chapman is claiming the maximum statutory damages for the infringement.

Netherlands country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Netherlands music industry report. After more than a decade of falling trade revenue from recorded-music sales, the Netherlands is experiencing a sustained period of growth. In common with most developed markets in Europe, Dutch record company earnings were hit by the effects of online piracy as a result of the shift from physical formats to digital. However, for the last three years, trade revenue has risen sharply, and further growth is expected for this year and beyond. Dutch authors’ societies BUMA and STEMRA registered a sixth consecutive year of annual growth in joint collections after three consecutive annual falls. Combined income for the two collection societies edged up last year, with gains in both performance and mechanical collections. A rise in domestic collections for producers’ and performers’ society SENA boosted total receipts despite a second straight year of falling overseas income. The live industry experienced a positive 2017, with an increase in both visitors to events and revenue from ticket sales.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with South Korea country report

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

Producers’ and performers’ rights earnings see steady year
Performance-rights distributions broke new records last year, with total payment figures rising to their highest levels. The rights of record companies (producers) and performers have become an important source of income in recent years, given the long demise of recorded-music trade revenue. Although streaming has returned record-company earnings to growth, performance rights will remain a key source of revenue, with collections forecast to grow steadily over the next few years. Measured at both reported and constant exchange rates, global performance rights distributions increased year-on-year. The US continued to increase its dominance as the biggest national source of performance rights, despite a slowdown in collections by SoundExchange. Regionally, Europe is the biggest source of performance rights collections, but the region’s share of the global total fell last year after slipping below 50% for the first time in 2015.

Sweden’s recorded-music fortunes in limbo as midyear trade sales fail to excite
IFPI Sweden has reported modest growth in recorded-music trade earnings for the first half of this year. Record-company earnings from access services increased, although the breakout of the different streaming revenue sources showed that paid subscriptions were up but that advertising-supported audio and video service revenue fell year on year. Continued gains in vinyl revenue lessened the overall decline in physical format income. CD album and music video sales tumbled in the six-month period, along with single-track and album downloads. While the short-term situation for recorded-music sales in Sweden remains positive, the slowdown in subscriptions suggests that the longer-term fortunes for Europe’s most advanced recorded-music market are starting to look a little shaky.

Radio adapts to growing digital challenges
Big-budget music streaming services and digital in-car infotainment providers hope to eat into radio’s engaged and loyal listenership – boosting subscriber bases and driving advertiser investment away from broadcast content and toward their own platforms. Radio networks have worked well to adapt to the pressures of digitization, launching their own online radio services for smartphone and in-car listening and introducing repackaged content for sale online. However, collaboration must continue across the industry to consolidate listenership, particularly across the younger people that have grown up using digital technologies. Networks must continue to deliver content in diverse formats to drive revenue to and maintain healthy advertiser investment in the platform.

South Korea 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 Korea music industry report. South Korea’s recorded-music industry is arguably the most advanced in the world. Since the turn of the century, the sector has been through a massive transformation, from being almost overrun by piracy to one that is now dominated by digital access services. Surprisingly, sales of CD albums are still healthy in the country despite the continued rise of digital sales. Korean-produced music is popular worldwide with the K-pop genre benefitting from the “Korean Wave,” which began in the late 1990s and continues to boost the popularity of South Korean popular culture through online services and social media. Local music groups dominate distribution of recorded music with the major labels accounting for a low market share.

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Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

New issue of Music & Copyright with Brazil country report

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

Music Piracy: No longer headline news, but the problem persists with big brand support
The fifth annual survey by Music & Copyright of online music distribution through unauthorized music sites and services has found little change to the status quo. Although the number of sites that are now blocked by ISPs around the world continues to rise, so does the number of sites offering unlicensed content. Moreover, blue-chip companies and media-content services are still unwittingly supporting the sites through advertising placements. In a recurring theme, most companies notified of the presence of advertising on pirate sites stated a willingness to have their adverts removed but offered little assurance that dealing with misplaced advertising would become a high priority. There are a number of ongoing initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers of misplaced advertising, but the size of the task in hand provides little in the way of optimism that the situation will change any time soon.

SIAE reports flat year for Italian live entertainment in 2014
The Italian live events sector experienced a flat 2014 according to new figures published by the Italian authors’ society SIAE. Although box office receipts edged up slightly, total attendance at events was down. The sectors with the best results were exhibitions and shows, travelling shows and amusements, sports and theater. A decrease in the number of live music shows staged resulted in a fall in box office receipts and total turnover for the sector.

Music start-ups take digital to the next level
Digital innovation has opened up innumerable opportunities for music industry start-ups, which are often able to operate on a shoestring from a founder’s garage until they grab the attention of Silicon Valley’s VCs. While the likes of Spotify and Pandora operate in the limelight, a huge number of outfits develop their often groundbreaking services in the wings, developing new apps, running live music operations, or promoting emerging artists. But some of these startups have become good-sized businesses in their own rights and are starting to interest record companies, artists, and brands.

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. Trade revenue from recorded music in Brazil increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2014 with higher digital sales more than offsetting a decline in physical format sales. Record company earnings from music streaming rose sharply and accounted for just over half the digital total. UMG held on to the leading position it gained from SME in 2013 despite suffering a slight fall in market share. Umbrella rights organization ECAD reported growth in royalty collections and distributions in 2014. Difficult trading conditions impacted on the performance of the country’s biggest live music promoter Time for Fun in 2014. However, the company started this year well with a big rise in ticket sales and events promoted.

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

Music & Copyright is published by Ovum.

Is repertoire fragmentation the new enemy of digital-music services in Europe?

Last year the European Commission introduced new proposals for a directive on the collective management of copyright and multiterritory licensing of music. The proposals, which target collection-society transparency and the efficient working of digital-distribution businesses in Europe, are working their way through a series of committees. After that, they must be agreed upon by the European Parliament and European Council of Ministers.

What the directive will not do is interfere with the way music publishers administer their rights. All of the major publishers and a number of independents have withdrawn the rights to certain repertoire for licensing on a multiterritorial basis. Some see these moves as a step towards the creation of a new form of fragmentation, one based on repertoire, rather than national borders. Publishers have long claimed that withdrawing certain repertoire rights streamlines the licensing process. However, music ownership can involve multiple publishers and therefore digital services that want to provide an all-encompassing offering still need to sign more licensing deals than the number of countries they operate in. Continue reading “Is repertoire fragmentation the new enemy of digital-music services in Europe?”

A short history of the music industry: different formats, familiar names but the same old problems

M&C coverIn the past 20 years or so, all sectors of the music industry have been through massive change. Format transitions, company consolidation and greater scrutiny of copyright and licensing have changed the industry beyond all recognition. But have the changes made for industry improvements, and more important, have the main players learned from their mistakes? The recent discovery of the first issues of Music & Copyright has allowed for a unique look at just how much certain things have changed, and how much they haven’t.

The newsletter’s 20-year anniversary came and went in September, but thanks to a long-standing subscriber, copies of the first 24 issues published have been found and make for interesting reading. Despite containing names that have either long since left the music industry or been swallowed up as part of industry consolidation, the headlines for a number of news stories resonate closely with happenings today. Continue reading “A short history of the music industry: different formats, familiar names but the same old problems”

Performance-rights distributions continue to defy global economic uncertainty

Performance-rights collections paid to record companies (producers) and performers are often seen as the poor relation to authors’ rights, with global receipts from performance rights traditionally much lower than the equivalent authors’-rights total. Yet for the past couple of years the growth in performance-rights collections has outshone authors’-rights collections. Moreover, the revenue stream is growing in importance as the recorded-music industry continues to battle falling sales. Continue reading “Performance-rights distributions continue to defy global economic uncertainty”

Big differences in splits for digital-music performance and mechanical rights in EU-27

As the issue of multiterritory licensing comes under the spotlight in Europe, differences in rates charged and rights splits will become more evident. Will an EU directive that breaks down national borders be followed by a bigger push for deeper collection-society harmonization across the region?

With publication of the European Commission’s new multiterritory licensing proposals, Brussels’ efforts to harmonize the EU’s digital-music landscape are looking to build on legislation harmonizing authors’ and publishers’ rights that are managed by collection societies. Continue reading “Big differences in splits for digital-music performance and mechanical rights in EU-27”