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”.
Archive for April, 2014
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.