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.
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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
In 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
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
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
The number of digital-music services in Europe is growing every year and consumers across the continent are being presented with an array of different ways to listen to music. Digital-music delivery and consumption has undergone a rapid transition. However, such has been the speed of the sector’s evolution, new business models specializing in digital-music delivery across Europe have forced those organizations charged with issuing licenses to rethink the way they operate.
Music publishers and collection-societies in Europe have taken to the task in different ways (see below table for major music publisher initiative details). But, in contrast to a few years ago, when digital-music services were required to negotiate countless licensing deals, agreements between music publishers and collection-societies have reduced the necessity for endless rounds of licensing negotiations. Continue reading
Last month the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) held a press conference at the Silken Berlaymont Hotel in Brussels to brief news reporters about a stance it was taking against European broadcasters on behalf of music composers. ECSA accused Europe’s leading broadcasters of forcing composers to give up their rights in return for TV commissions. Big names in broadcasting, such as RTL, ITV, BskyB, TF1, ZDF and Rai, were all accused of operating a system called coercive commissioning – in return for awarding a composer with a commission, the composer must assign all rights in the music to the broadcaster or TV production company. Put simply, no rights, no commission. Continue reading