In the current issue of the International Journal of Music Business Research Professor Adolf Dietz, the Senior researcher and former head of the Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich (Germany) critically reflects the European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on Collecting Societies and Cultural Diversity as a missed opportunity. David Allan, Associate Professor of Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia (U.S.) deals in “Turn it up: That’s my song in that ad” with deals the relevance of popular music for brand and artist awareness in television commercials. Finally, Steven C. Brown, Doctoral Research Student at Glasgow Caledonian University (Scotland) reflects the “Peer production and the changing face of the live album”.
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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:
The German Federal Association of Music Industry (Bundesverband Musikindustrie – BVMI) reported a slight growth of recorded music sales by 1.2 percent for 2013. The main reason for the first increase of music sales in the past 15 years were growing digital music sales by 11.7 percent from 2012 to 2013. At the same time, the physical music sales moderately declined by 1.5 percent to EUR 1.12bn. Whereas CD sales fell by 1.3 percent to EUR 1.0bn, the sales of vinyl records grew heavily by 47.2 percent to EUR 29.0m in 2013. Since the CD has still a market share of 69.8 percent, one should be cautious to speak about a turnaround of the German recorded music market. A stabilization of the physical music sales is unrealistic and the increase of digital music sales has to over-compensate the loss in the physical market segment. Although the revenue from ad-supported and subscription music services increased by 91.2 percent to EUR 68.0m, the single-track download sales fell for the first time by 4.4 percent to EUR 104.0m in 2013, which makes a turnaround scenario highly questionable.
In the following, the future development of the German recorded music market will be analysed based on the BVMI report as well as on historic empirical data.
“Chasing Sound. Technology, Culture & the Art of Studio Recording from Edison to the LP” is Susan Schmidt Horning’s dissertation published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013. As the subtitle indicates it is not only a book on the history of recording technology, but of the evolving recording culture from the early beginning in the last quarter of the 19th century until the advent of multitrack recording in the 1960s. In her book, Schmidt Horning highlights the change from capturing live performances by acoustic and electrical recording devices to music production using recording equipment and the recording studio as integral part of the artistic process. The book focuses on those involved in the recording process: engineers, record producers, arrangers, session musicians and performers, songwriters, studio owners and managers and tells the history of sound recording from their perspectives. Therefore, the author conducted in-depths interviews with contemporary witnesses to catch-up the tacit knowledge embodied in the recording profession and the overall change of the recording culture. In the following, I summarize the seven chapters of the book.
Tags: album sales, CD, digital music market, digital music sales, download sales, Japan, mobile music sales, music consumption, music streaming, music subscription, physical music sales, recorded music market, Recording Industry Association of Japan, RIAJ, single track sales
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.
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.
Dear readers of the music business research blog,
The take-over of EMI’s recorded music arm by Universal Music Group was still on the agenda in 2013. The EU Commission ordered Universal Music to divest EMI Recording Ltd. (including EMI’s Parlophone label group, with the exception of the Beatles), Chrysalis (but without the Robbie Williams catalogue) and Mute Records, EMI and Virgin Classical as well as the local EMI branches in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic/Slovakia and Universal Greece. Thus, the Parlophone Music Group was sold to Warner Music for GBP 487m. The EU Commission eventually cleared the deal in May 2013.
2013 was also the year of booming music streaming services. Led by Spotify, music streaming services reported a growing number of users and increasing revenues. The market entry of Apple with iTunes Radio and Google with All Access raised the expectations of a turnaround in the recorded music market. In the series of six blog entries “Is Streaming the Next Big Thing?”, I tried to assess if these expectations are legitimate from the labels’, artists’, consumers’ and streaming services’ perspective on the basis of an international market analysis.
The booming music streaming market was the perfect starting point for the 4th Vienna Music Business Research Days “The Future of Music Licensing” (June, 20-21, 2013). The role of collecting societies in the digital age was as well discussed as the EU directive on collective rights management and the need for a comprehensive database of music licences. In the course of the VMBR-Days the best paper of the Young Scholars’ Workshop was awarded for the second time. Sisley Maillard of the Université Telecom ParisTech was awarded for her paper “Consumer Information in the Digital Age: Empirical Evidence from the Spillovers in the Music Industry” as well as Francisco Bernardo/Luis Gustavo Martins of the Catholic University of Portugal in Porto for “Disintermediation Effects in the Music Business – A Return to Old Times”. Both papers are considered for publication in the International Journal of Music Business Research (IJMBR).
In 2013, the second volume of the IJMBR was published with two issues in April and October. The special October issue was entirely devoted to the analysis of the Australian music economy:
In the next section you can find a list of all theses & papers which were added to the blog in 2013, but also recently published studies and books related to music business/industry research are listed: