UMG and WMG make recorded-music market share gains, Sony outperforms in publishing

Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. Recorded-music leader UMG maintained the top spot with an increase in both its physical and digital market shares. Second-placed SME suffered a dip in its recorded-music share, while smaller major WMG continued its upward trend and registered a share increase. A repeat of 2016 saw independent record companies collectively account for the biggest share. Sony remained the leader in terms of corporate music publishing control after registering the best year in the company’s history. UMPG suffered a slight fall in share, while Warner/Chappell and the collective share of the independent publishing sector were unchanged.

UMG extends recorded-music lead
UMG had a 29.7% share of combined physical and digital recorded-music trade revenue last year, up from 29% in 2016. For just digital revenue, UMG’s share stood at 32%, while its physical share was 25.4%.

Record companies, physical- and digital-revenue market shares, 2016 and 2017
Source: Music & Copyright

SME was the second-largest music company, although its combined physical/digital market share slipped last year, to 21.9%, from 22.9% in 2016. SME registered a year-on-year fall in both physical and digital market shares. The company’s share of all recorded-music trade revenue, which includes licensing and other revenue as well as income from physical and digital music sales, was also down, to 22.3%, from 23.2%.

Record companies, total recorded-music-revenue market shares, 2017
Source: Music & Copyright

The smallest of the majors, WMG, experienced a mixed year in digital and physical shares. The company’s digital share increased, to 18.1%, from 17.6%, while its physical share edged down, to 12.8%, from 13.1%. WMG’s combined physical/digital share grew, to 16.2%, from 15.8%, and its total revenue share was up, to 15.8%, from 15.4%.

UMG was the single biggest record company, but independent record companies’ combined physical/digital revenue share was higher than the leader last year, at 32.2%. The independent company sector increased its share of both physical and digital revenue, but there remained a sizable difference between its physical and digital shares.

It is worth pointing out at this stage that following last year’s review of our music publishing share methodology, we have made similar changes to the way we determine recorded-music shares. Our calculations are now based on a much more comprehensive assessment of the recorded-music sector and allow for greater accuracy in the standings of the three majors and the independent companies. The change has meant we have restated the previously published 2016 figures.

Positive year for music publishing
In line the way in which Music & Copyright determines global recorded-music market shares, music publishing market shares are also based on revenue received by each company. Music & Copyright has calculated that global music publishing revenue grew 11.2% last year, to $4.92bn, from $4.42bn in 2016. Sony increased its leading position following the best year in the company’s history. Earnings were boosted by a record growth in streaming. Moreover, the company published the IFPI’s top three artists of last year, Ed Sheeran, Drake and Taylor Swift. Sony accounted for 27.3% of global publishing revenue, up from 27% in 2016.

Music-publishing companies, revenue market shares, 2016 and 2017
Source: Music & Copyright

UMPG was the second-largest music publisher last year. Music & Copyright estimates the company’s share edged down, to 19.5%, from 19.8% in 2016. Third placed Warner/Chappell’s share was unchanged at 12%. Also unchanged last year was the indie share. Independent music publishers have long dominated music publishing and continue to compete well with the majors for major artists’ attention. Music & Copyright estimates that independent companies accounted for 41.2% of publishing revenue in 2017.

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New issue of Music & Copyright with Finland country report

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

UMG and WMG make recorded-music market-share gains; Sony outperforms in publishing
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. Recorded-music leader UMG maintained the top spot, with an increase in both physical and digital market shares. Second-placed SME suffered a dip in its recorded-music share, while smaller major WMG continued its upward trend and registered a share increase. A repeat of 2016 saw independent record companies collectively account for the biggest share. Sony remained the leader in terms of corporate music publishing control, after registering the best year in the company’s history. UMPG suffered a slight fall in share, while Warner/Chappell and the collective share of the independent publishing sector were unchanged.

Return to growth for Dutch neighboring rights society SENA
SENA, the Dutch collection society representing performers and producers (record companies), has reported a rise in total licensing income for 2017. Domestic receipts increased for the third consecutive year and more than offset a second annual dip in international collections. Total domestic invoiced licensing revenue registered growth, but overseas invoiced revenue fell. In contrast, distributions in the Netherlands last year were down, while payments abroad were up. General licensing was the biggest collection source for SENA members, ahead of broadcasting. SENA noted in its annual report that the first full year of operation of its joint venture service center created with the authors’ society BUMA has brought the expected efficiency benefits. SENA also said that greater cooperation with BUMA on other joint initiatives is a possibility.

Regulation is just the ticket for live music events
Regulators around the world are starting to crack down on event ticket abuses. The key targets in many markets are the sharp practices of secondary ticketing operators, which have been the cause of much consumer complaint for some time. But also in regulatory sights is the widespread lack of price transparency and the use of automated bots to sweep up tickets for resale. And while the live music sector is welcoming of such regulation, there’s also an opportunity for private companies to deploy technological solutions to further help live music fans.

Finland country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Finland music industry report. Finland is outside of the global top 20 for revenue from recorded music. But, despite its small size, the country is a market leader in the digital transition from ownership to access. Subscription services already account for more than two-thirds of recorded-music trade earnings in the country and this share is expected to rise further as the reliance on physical formats continues to drop and sales of downloads disappear. The streaming boom means digital trade sales now generate close to 90% of the total market. UMG enhanced its leading position last year with a modest rise in market share while SME took second place from WMG. Royalty earnings collected by authors’ society TEOSTO were down slightly year on year. However, continued growth in digital collections meant the revenue stream increased its share of total royalty receipts to 13.7%. Indications suggest Finland’s live sector registered a good year. Despite lower ticket sales to festivals, attendance at events increased year on year.

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New issue of Music & Copyright

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

EC backs blockchain with the rollout of Observatory and Forum
The European Commission (EC) has created the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (BOF) to highlight key developments in blockchain technology and promote European stakeholders actively involved in blockchain activities. The BOF is set to work alongside established funding projects and research programs. Blockchain technology, on which cryptocurrency Bitcoin is built, is being held up by reformers in the music industry as a means of creating a fairer distribution system for content creators. Proponents say it could bring transparency to rights metadata, instant remuneration to artists, and new forms of monetization to music.

Appeals court orders new trial in Cox–BMG copyright infringement case
US ISP Cox Communications and music rights management company BMG must face each other again in a copyright dispute, following a decision by a Fourth Circuit panel of judges to remand for a new trial. Cox was sued for copyright infringement by music companies BMG and Round Hill Music in 2014. Round Hill was removed from the case on the grounds that the publisher had not proved exclusive ownership of the rights to the music cited as being infringed. A Virginia district court ruled at the end of 2015 that Cox was guilty of willful contributory copyright infringement and awarded BMG $25m in damages. The ISP appealed the decision, but the district court dismissed the claim. Cox subsequently filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit. That court has now upheld the district court’s decision that the ISP is not entitled to the safe harbor protection defense, but ruled that a new trial must be held because of certain errors in jury instructions.

New York court rules no copyright infringement in U2 plagiarism claim
A New York federal judge has ruled that U2 did not copy any part of English songwriter and performer Paul Rose’s track Nae Slappin for the creation of the band’s hit song The Fly. Rose had claimed that U2 had infringed his copyright by willfully copying fragments from his track to create a guitar solo for The Fly. However, the judge found that Rose did not plead a plausible claim of infringement and that his claims were too vague. The judge also said that no reasonable juror listening to the entirety of the two songs could find that they were similar. Most music plagiarism cases rarely reach court given the difficulties for authors in establishing whether another author has copied their work. Equally problematic is the cost of bringing cases to court, particularly given that an accused will often have significant resources with which to defend any claim.

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WMG makes recorded-music market share gains, while indies extend publishing lead

The annual survey by Ovum publication Music & Copyright of the recorded music and music publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. For the second consecutive year, recorded-music leader UMG lost market share, while smaller major WMG closed the gap on second-placed SME. Sony remained the leader in terms of corporate control of music publishing, though its share has fallen for two straight years. Little change in share for second-placed UMPG meant the company narrowed the gap with Sony. The collective shares of the independent publishing sector registered the biggest publishing share increase.

Shifting market shares, but majors still dominate
According to Music & Copyright, UMG had a 32.8% share of combined physical and digital recorded-music trade revenue last year, down from 33.7% in 2015. For physical revenue only, UMG’s share stood at 30.2%, while its digital share was 34.6%.

Record companies’ physical- and digital-revenue market shares, 2015 and 2016

Source: Music & Copyright

SME was the second-largest music company, with a combined physical/digital market share of 22.2%, down from 22.6% in 2015. SME registered a year-on-year fall in both physical and digital market shares. The company’s share of all recorded-music trade revenue, which includes licensing and other revenue as well as income from physical and digital music sales, was also down, to 22.4%, from 22.8%. The smallest of the majors, WMG, was the only one of the three to register share increases last year. The company’s share of revenue from physical recorded-music sales stood at 17% in 2016, up from 16.3% in 2015. For digital, the share grew to 18.9%, from 18.2%. WMG’s combined physical/digital share increased, to 18.1%, from 17.3%.

The independent record companies’ share of combined physical/digital revenue was up in 2016, to 26.9%, from 26.4%. Although the company sector increased its share of both physical and digital revenue, independents’ share of physical formats remained higher than their digital share.

Warner Chappell and indie sector register share gains
Sony maintained its leading position in the publishing sector last year despite a second consecutive dip in market share. The company accounted for 27% of global publishing revenue, down from 28.3% in 2015. Sony took the top spot in 2013, following the purchase of EMI Music Publishing by a Sony-led consortium in 2012. In addition to revenue from EMI MP repertoire administered by Sony, the company’s publishing share includes Sony/ATV earnings as well as income from Sony Music Publishing Japan.

Music-publishing companies’ revenue shares, 2015 and 2016

Source: Music & Copyright

It is worth noting that based on a more comprehensive assessment of the publishing sector, we have restated the previously published 2015 figures. Although some shares have been changed, none of the publishers’ annual performances has been affected.

UMPG was the second-largest music publisher last year and closed the gap with Sony, though its share edged down slightly, to 19.8%, from 20% in 2015. Third-placed Warner Chappell was the only major publisher to register an increase last year, with the company’s share rising to 12%, from 11.4%.

Independent music publishers have long dominated music publishing and continue to compete well with the majors for major artists’ attention. Last year proved to be no exception. Music & Copyright estimates that independent companies accounted for 41.2% of publishing revenue, compared with 40.3% in 2015.

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 Finland country report

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

WMG makes recorded-music market share gains, while indies extend publishing lead
Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. For the second consecutive year, recorded-music leader UMG lost market share, while smaller major WMG closed the gap on second-placed SME. Increased granularity of published music company data meant for the first time the annual survey contained market share figures for music streaming. Sony remained the leader in terms of corporate control of music publishing, though its share has fallen for two straight years. Little change in share for second-placed UMPG meant the company narrowed the gap with Sony. The collective shares of the independent publishing sector registered the biggest publishing share increase, with leading indies BMG and Kobalt both making market share gains.

Domestic collection growth for SENA, but lower US income hits overall total
SENA, the Dutch collection society representing performers and producers (record companies), has reported a fall in total licensing income for 2016. Although domestic receipts were up year on year, lower income from the US meant international collections were down sharply. Similarly, total domestic invoiced licensing revenue registered growth, but overseas invoiced revenue fell. Distributions in the Netherlands and abroad were also down last year. General licensing was the biggest collection source for SENA members, ahead of broadcasting. SENA noted in its annual report that a joint-venture service center created with the authors’ society BUMA began dealing with its individual and collective licensing agreements from the beginning of last year. The aim of the venture is to create efficiency savings for the two societies.

ECJ backs Stichting Brein in media player copyright case
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has sided with the Dutch antipiracy group Stichting Brein in a case concerning the sale of a multimedia player that enables copyright-protected audiovisual content to be viewed for free. The defendant in the case is an online retailer of a multimedia player that contained open source software that enabled video files to be played through an interface. The court decided that the multimedia player enabled a communication to the public of audiovisual content as described in the 2001 European Copyright Directive and so breached European law. The court also ruled that temporary acts of reproduction as carried out by the multimedia player of a copyright-protected work obtained by streaming on a website belonging to a third party was not exempt from legislation covering the right of reproduction.

Finland country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Finland music industry report. Finland is just outside of the global top 20 in terms of trade revenue from recorded music. But, despite its small size, the country is a market leader with regards to progress in the digital transition from ownership to access. Subscription services already account for around two-thirds of recorded-music trade earnings in the country, and this share is expected to rise further as the previous reliance on physical formats slips away and sales of downloads disappear. UMG took the top spot in market share terms last year, replacing WMG, which had been the leader for several years. Royalty earnings were positive, with collections from music use maintaining a well-established growth trend. The country’s live sector also registered a good year despite attendance at festivals suffering from poor weather conditions.

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 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.

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 China country report

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

European Commission sets out its 16-point plan for the Digital Single Market
The European Commission has published details of how it intends to create a Digital Single Market in the region. The new plan sets out a number of targeted actions to be delivered by the end of 2016. The plan is separated into three specific areas aimed at providing better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe, creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish, and maximizing the growth potential of the digital economy. Of particular interest to the music industry are the Commission’s plans to end geoblocking and its legislative proposals for a new copyright law aimed at reducing the differences between national copyright regimes. Continue reading “New issue of Music & Copyright with China country report”