2016 is the pivotal year for the music streaming industry. After years of growth, we can expect a market consolation for the new few months with mergers, acquisitions and insolvencies. Thus, the question arises which music streaming services will survive that consolidation process. I try to assess who will be the winners and losers by analysing the financials of several music streaming companies. In the first part of this series I examine the global market leader in the music streaming market, the Swedish music streaming company Spotify.
Last year, I posted an analysis of the international music streaming for 2014 based on IFPI numbers. Since then the global streaming market was highly dynamic and therefore I updated my analysis and included also earlier data. In 2015 the global streaming revenue (subscriptions and ad-supported streaming revenue) increased by 42.5 per cent (IFPI 2016: 17) and had a volume of US $2.89bn. The music streaming market is almost as big as the music download market (US $2.97bn) (IFPI 2016: 49). Music streaming, therefore, accounts for 42 per cent of the global recorded music market. However, the market share of music streaming differs between countries. Whereas in Sweden the music streaming market share is 66.5 per cent of the overall recorded music market, in Germany just 11.4 per cent of the recorded music revenue comes from music streaming sources. And Japan, the second largest recorded music market in world, lags behind with meagre 4.6 per cent. In the following, please read an analysis of the international music streaming for the time-span from 2011-2015.
In the course of digitization new players entered the music industry changing the rules of the game. Such a player is Live Nation. Live Nation Entertainment is the result of the merger of the world’s largest music promotion company, Live Nation, and the world’s largest ticketing company, Ticketmaster, in 2010. The Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger marks the beginning of a new era in the music business, with all activities within the industry now being integrated, including live music events, venue operations, ticketing services, sponsorship and advertising sales, and artist management and services (Live Nation 2015: 4). In the following Live Nation’s business model and economic performance after the merger is portrayed and analysed.
Tags: Adam Fer, Alan Krueger, Alexander Brem, Barbara Baarsma, concert ticket market, EDM, electronic dance music, Erik Hitters, German radio market, innovation diffusion, Job van der Velde, Michael Reichert, Netherlands, Patrik Wikström, Robert DeFillippi, Rockonomics
The new issue features three excellent unique and diverse papers that shed fresh and novel insights on the modern music business and this is exemplified by “Rockonomics Revisited”, as well as “Innovation Diffusion” and “The Distinctiveness of Electronic Dance Music”.
“Rockonomics Revisited” by Adam Fer and Barbara Baarsma of the University of Amsterdam is taking its reference point as Krueger’s well-known 2005 “Rockonomics” paper that examined the complimentary relationship between declining record sales and rising ticket prices. The “Innovation Diffusion” paper by Alexander Brem (University of Southern Denmark) and Michael Reichert (Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg) investigates the importance of product and organisational Innovation particularly in a music industry with historical failure rates of 90 percent. “The distinctiveness of Electronic Dance Music” by Job van der Velde and Erik Hitters of Erasmus University Rotterdam begs the question whether the Dance (or EDM) genre is distinctive relative to existing music industries structures. They argue the differences between the EDM labels and rest of the music industry can be traced to the embedded digital technologies, the rise of independent labels filling the post-Napster vacuum left by the major labels and the fact the new entrants focus on live as opposed to recorded music revenues. A book review by Daniel Nordgård on “Business Innovation and Disruptions in the Music Industry”, edited by Patrik Wikström and Robert DeFillippi, complements for the first time the current IJMBR issue.
Tags: BMG Rights Management, CISAC, collecting societies, digital revenue, EMI Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Mechanical revenues, music licensing, music publishing market, Performance revenues, Sony/ATV, Synchronisation revenues, Universal Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell
In a Music Business World Wide article, music industry analyst Will Page calculated a value of US $11.34bn for the global music publishing market in 2014. The number comprises of US $7.55bn for the collection of performance fees, US $1.32bn for mechanical collections and US $0.35bn for private copying collections by CISAC members and US $0.42bn for non-CISAC mechanical collections (e.g. Harry Fox Agency collections). Further US $1.70bn of revenue have to be added for music directly licensed by the publishers (“grand rights” and synchronisation rights).
Figure 1: The global value of the music publishing market in 2014
Source: After Music Business World Wide, “$25 billion: The best number to happen to the global music business in a very long time”, December 10, 2015 (retrieved January 19, 2016)
The analysis highlights that music publishing is as relevant as the recorded music industry with a global market volume of about US$ 15bn. Therefore, this blog post analysis the global music publishing market in a long-term perspective and investigates economic relevance of music publishing for the music majors – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group – as well as the structure of the global music publishing market.
Tags: 2015, classical music streaming, Financing Music in the Digital Age, IJMBR, International Journal of Music Business Research, music business research, music crowdfunding, music industry research, music start-up funding, opera streaming, Vienna Music Business Research Days 2015, VMBR-Days 2015
Dear readers of the music business research blog,
2015 Music streaming was again the main topic in the music business. In June, Apple Inc. introduced the long rumoured music streaming portal Apple Music to the public. Instead of a freemium tier Apple Music is built around an online radio station – Beats 1 – and enables direct contact between musicians and fans by Artist Connect. Nevertheless, Taylor Swift was not amused. She threatened to withdraw her music catalogue from Apple Music as long as no licensing fees are paid to rights holders in the initial trail period. Apple’s VP of iTunes, Eddy Cue, immediately responded by Twitter to announce that Apple Inc. has changed its mind and “will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period”. However, the conflict shows that the discussion on music streaming payments to artists will continue in 2016. An analysis on the blog already addressed that problem – Music Streaming Revisited – the Problem of Income Distribution – and even superstars cannot afford a living from music streaming revenues: Music Streaming Revisited – The Superstars’ Music Streaming Income. It was also highlighted on the blog that the main winners of the music streaming boom are the major recorded music labels which can successfully market their catalogues: Who Benefits from Spotify & Co.?
Before Apple Music was introduced to the public, premium music streaming service Tidal was launched by Jay-Z and 16 further superstars of the music business in March 2015. It remains to be seen if the music fans are prepared to pay a monthly fee of US $19.99 for high fidelity music streaming. The number of subscribers since Tidal’s launch tells a different story.
In November 2015, Google unveiled the first details on YouTube Red. YouTube Red is the successor of Music Key, which never made it out of the beta version. The new streaming service aims to successfully compete with Spotify & Co. 2016 will show if the dreams will come true.
It is striking, however, that all the new music streaming services lack a freemium tier. This nurtures speculations that the end of free music streaming is near what would be applauded by high ranking music industry representatives who regularly clamoured the dismissal of Freemium music streaming models in 2015. It is, however, questionable if a stop of free music streaming is the golden rule for the music business since most of the music streaming markets are not fully developed yet as highlighted in a blog entry: Music Streaming Revisited – the International Music Streaming Market 2014.
Although music streaming seems to stabilize the recorded music markets – see e.g. U.S. and Germany – the first signs of a market consolidations has become visible. The German music streaming pioneer Simfy had to close down and the U.S. based streaming platform rdio went bankrupt in 2015.
Investors, however, do not bet on music streaming services anymore as the panel discussion “Financing Music in the Digital Age” within the 6th Vienna Music Business Research Days highlighted. The international music business research conference that again was held at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in cooperation with Waves Vienna Festival & Conference also addressed the question in a presentation and panel discussion if streaming is a relevant revenue source for opera houses and concert halls. And the economic relevance of crowdfunding for the music business was analysed in a keynote talk too.
The 7th Vienna Music Business Research Days will be held at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria, from September 27 to 29, 2016.
Music Business Research is an inter-discipline at the intersection of economic, artistic, cultural, social, legal, technological and further developments which contribute to the creation/production, dissemination/ distribution and reception/consumption of music. This interdisciplinary nature calls for methodological multiplicity and is open to scholars from all scientific areas.
The conference organizers invite scholars (from the postdoctoral level on) who have a research focus on music business/industry related topics to submit a paper proposal for the conference day on September 28, 2016.
Indicative themes on all music business research areas, include, but not limited to:
- Self-management and career development (institutional and private) of music artists
- Past, current and future developments in the music industry (recorded music industry, live music sector, music publishing, music retailing and wholesaling, music instruments industry etc.);
- Music market research and music charts research;
- The economic and social situation of musicians as well as the labor market for musicians;
- The management of musicians and music institutions;
- The marketing of music;
- Music branding and sponsoring;
- Public and private funding of the music sector (including new forms of music funding such as crowdfunding);
- Case studies on music companies and other music institutions;
- Legal aspects of the music business (contracts, copyright, competition law/policy etc.);
- Music licensing and collecting societies;
- Music media (radio, TV, online-based media etc.);
- Economic aspects of music genres (classical, pop/rock, jazz, world music markets etc.);
- Business-related music education;
- Music export;
Gender issues are welcome and can be included in almost every research topic mentioned above.
Please send an abstract of your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 30, 2016.
All submissions must include a Title, Authors (names, affiliations, e-mails of all authors and a notation (*) of the corresponding author), an abstract of 1,000-1,500 words and 3-5 keywords. Abstracts must be submitted in English, as a MS Word file (*.doc or *.docx) or *.pdf file, and include:
- Objectives of the research
- Brief description of the disciplinary/theoretical context/background
- Research questions and/or hypotheses
- Main or expected conclusions / contribution
- Main references
Abstracts will be subject to a double-blind peer-review process by an international jury, and authors will be notified of acceptance by June 01, 2016.
Final papers should not exceed 7,000 words (including abstracts, figures, tables, references and appendices) and follow the author guidelines of the International Journal of Music Business Research (IJMBR). The best paper will be offered publication in IJMBR.