Archive for the 'Analysis' Category

01
Jun
14

The phonographic market in Brazil, 2000-2013

Brazil is the ninth largest phonographic market in the world according to the latest IFPI report, despite the fact that the revenue from recorded music sales has decreased by 58 percent since 2000. However, the Brazilian market for recorded music is more or less stable for six years now due to relatively high music video sales and the considerable growth of the digital music segment. Thus, the digital music sales have increased by 82.2 percent from BRL 24.3m to BRL 136.7m with music streaming playing an increasingly important role in the sales mix. In the following I highlight the Brazilian recorded music market by figures reported by the Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos (ABPD).

Continue reading ‘The phonographic market in Brazil, 2000-2013′

24
Apr
14

How bad is YouTube?

In the past few years several studies on the impact of P2P music file sharing on recorded music sales were published. They came to very different and even conflicting results, as I highlighted in a 25 part blog series. A recently published study now shifts the focus from file sharing to music video online streaming. R. Scott Hiller of Fairfield University and Jin-Hyuk Kim of University of Colorado Boulder analysed the sales displacement effect of YouTube in a paper entitled “Online Music, Sales Displacement, and Internet Search: Evidence from YouTube“. They concluded that Warner Music Group sold significantly more units of its Billboard 200 albums, when the Warner content was removed from YouTube due to a conflict on licensing fees. In addition, they found no evidence that the blackout had a negative promotional effect for Warner artists.

You can read more about this study and my assessment of the results here:

Continue reading ‘How bad is YouTube?’

31
Mar
14

The Recorded Music Market in Japan, 1990-2013

Compared to other markets, the world’s second largest recorded music market is very different – at least in respect to digitization. Whereas the digital music segment is booming in other large markets, it is shrinking in Japan according to the latest report of the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). In 2013, the total digital music sales were ¥ 41bn (EUR 290m) compared to ¥ 54bn (EUR 383m) a year before – a drop of 23 percent. The main reason for this surprising decrease is a shrinking mobile music market that lost 56.7 percent of its volume from 2012 to 2013. The drop was even more dramatic if we look back to 2008, when mobile music sales accounted for ¥ 79.9bn (EUR 566.0m) – fivefold in value than in 2013. The main driver for the sales drop was not – as might be supposed – the shrinking market for mastertones and ringback tunes, but tremendously falling single track download sales on mobile phones. Whereas mastertones and ringback tunes sales decreased by 75.9 percent and ¥ -21.8bn (EUR -154.4m) respectively from 2008 to 2013, the decline of mobile single tracks download sales was even more severe with 83.7 percent and ¥ -39.9bn (EUR -282.6m) respectively in the same period. We have to take into consideration, however, that RIAJ does not count downloads from smartphones and tablets as mobile music downloads, but as desktop downloads from the Internet, which strongly increased in the past few years. The value of single track downloads on the Internet was ¥ 14.8bn (EUR 104.8m) in 2013and Internet album download sales were at ¥ 14.8bn (EUR 104.8m) resulting in a growth of both segments of about 150 percent compared to 2008. Since the current value of Internet music downloads is much lower than the former volume of the mobile music segment, the total digital music sales have decreased in the past five years. In addition, the Japanese music streaming market is still underdeveloped. Spotify is expected to launch its service this year and other streaming services still evaluate the market potential in Japan.

Since the physical recorded music market in Japan also declines, the total music sales has been falling for more than a decade. RIAJ, however, does not report sales figures for physical music formats, but production values. Thus, we cannot assess the total music sales for Japan, but only the overall production value of CDs, vinyl discs and other physical formats such as music cassettes, SACDs and music DVDs. Thus, we can observe that the production value of physical music carriers has nearly halved since 2000.

The Japanese recorded music market, thus, is characterised by particularities which will be highlighted in the following analysis.

Continue reading ‘The Recorded Music Market in Japan, 1990-2013′

21
Mar
14

The recorded music market in the US, 2000-2013

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently published the sales figures (shipment figures) for the recorded music market in the US for 2013. Accordingly, digital sales increased by 7.6 percent to US$ 4.36bn from 2012 to 2013. Nevertheless, overall sales (digital and physical) slightly decreased by 0.3 percent from US$ 7.016bn to US$ 6.996bn in 2013. Thus, the sales decline of 12.3 percent (US$ -325m) in the physical product (CD, vinyl, DVD, SACD) could not be compensated by the growth of the digital music market. All in all, digital music sales accounted for 64 percent of the overall recorded music sales in 2013.

The strong increase of digital music sales is fueled by the booming music streaming and subscription segment, which grew 39 percent in 2013, generating US$1.4bn in revenue. However, single track download sales shrank by 3.3 percent (US$ -54.6m) in the same period. Digital album sales have slightly increased by 2.4 percent or US$ 28.7m from 2012 to 2013. These figures seem to indicate a cannibalizing effect of music streaming on download sales, even if we consider recent price cuts by digital music distributors.

The following analysis does not only highlight the digitization process of the recorded music market in the US in past thirteen years, but also the tremendous change of the digital music market segment.

Continue reading ‘The recorded music market in the US, 2000-2013′

18
Oct
13

Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – What Consumers Want

The question if streaming is the next big thing for the music industry will be eventually answered by the music consumers. Several studies were conducted in past few years – most of them commissioned by music industry bodies – to assess the future potential of music streaming. It is essential for music streaming services and the copyright holders (labels and music publishers) if consumers are aware of streaming services, if they are using them frequently and if they are prepared to convert from Freemium to subscription models. Therefore the results of the studies are important indicators for the future development of the music industry. Although they provide different and even contradictory results – due to a different methodology – they help us nevertheless to understand music consumption behaviour in the digital age. In the following I would like to review some of the studies published in the past three years.

Continue reading ‘Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – What Consumers Want’

26
Sep
13

Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – The artists’ perspective

In mid of July 2013 Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke caused for controversies when he pulled his song catalogue and those of his band Atoms For Peace from music streaming service Spotify. His straight forward argument was as cited in The Guardian that “new artists get paid fuck all with this model”. Several artists take the same line as Yorke. The co-author of the Belinda Carlisle hit “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, Ellen Shipley, complained that the royalty paid by Pandora to her for more than 3m plays was US$ 40. She accused Pandora, Spotify, YouTube and Google for “(…) the meager, insulting, outrageous amount of money songwriters are being paid” according to Business Insider. In fact some big names are not available on Spotify: The Beatles, AC/DC, The Eagles, Garth Brooks, George Harrison.

Thus, the question arises if and how music streaming services can be valuable for artists? In the following I would like to highlight the pros and cons of music streaming services form an artists’ perspective.

Continue reading ‘Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – The artists’ perspective’

29
Aug
13

Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – The Labels’ Perspective

The Beggars Group chairman, Martin Mills, recently told the Guardian that “(…) 22% of the label group’s digital revenues came from streaming – and that the majority of its artists earn more now from track streams than track downloads” in 2012. Though the article does not report absolute figures, the revenue can be considered rather high with a roster including Adele, Jack White and The xx.

A member survey of the global rights agency Merlin representing more than 20,000 indie labels including Beggars Group/XL Recordings, Rough Trade, Naïve, Tommy Boy, Cooking Vinyl and Naxos unveils that “92% of respondents saw streaming and subscription revenues grow between 2011 and 2012, with a third enjoying increases of more than 100%” as recently reported by Musicweek. The same study shows that 24% of indies across the world and 30% of European indies generated more income from streaming than downloads in 2012.

These figures suggest that music streaming seems to be a promising revenue source for record labels. In the following the economic potential of music streaming and the underlying business model are analysed from the record labels’ perspective.

Continue reading ‘Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – The Labels’ Perspective’




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