Archive for the 'Analysis' Category

01
Jan
17

Music Business Research 2016 – in retrospective

Dear readers of the music business research blog,

2016 seems to be the pivotal year in the recorded music industry. Although no annual statistics have been published until yet, we can take it for granted that the positive trend of 2015 continued in 2016. In 2015, the global recorded music market expanded by 3.4%. The US-market slightly grew by 0.9% and the German recorded music sales even increased by 4.4%.

The booming music streaming market was of course the main driver for the economic recovery of the recorded music business in 2015 and we can expect a further growth in 2016 and the upcoming year. The revenue growth of the streaming business compensated for the decline in CD sales, despite decreasing music download sales as highlighted in “The fate of the CD – an international CD-market analysis”. However, an in-depth analysis of the statistics unveils very different market dynamics in various countries. Whereas music streaming is the main business of the recorded music industry in Scandinavia, CD sales are still relevant in Germany and in Japan (see “The Music Streaming Market Revisited, 2011-2015”).

Continue reading ‘Music Business Research 2016 – in retrospective’

27
Dec
16

Warner Music Group in the Digital Paradigm Shift

On December 8, Warner Music Group (WMG) released the annual report for the financial year 2016 ending on September 30, 2016 reporting the highest revenue of US$ 3.25bn since Access Industries has acquired WMG in 2011. WMG also reported its best profit performance – measured in operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) – of US$ 507m since 2006. For the first time after Access Industries’ takeover, WMG will pay a dividend of US$ 54m to its shareholders (WMG 2016: 110). Those key facts indicate a healthy business performance of the smallest music recording major company in the digitalised music industry. Thus, the following analysis highlights the causes for WMG’s economic recovery and the re-structuring of its business model.

Continue reading ‘Warner Music Group in the Digital Paradigm Shift’

30
Nov
16

The fate of the CD – an international CD-market analysis

In March 2010, my first blog post in the music business research blog was entitled “The CD is Dead! Long Life the Music Download?” – with a question mark. The prophecy has become partly true. In some markets, e.g. in Sweden, the CD is only a by-product such as vinyl with a combined market share 12.4 percent (IFPI 2016: 92). In other countries, e.g. Germany, the CD is still economically relevant. Physical sales in Germany accounted for 60.0 percent in 2015 – with 83.6m CD units and 7.6m other physical units sold (ibid: 81). However, the CD is on the way to insignificance and will end up as a nostalgic collectors’ item. The following economic analysis of the international CD market shed light into the dynamics of different markets and explains, why some markets are still driven by CD sales.

Continue reading ‘The fate of the CD – an international CD-market analysis’

30
Jun
16

The Music Streaming Market Revisited, 2011-2015

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.

Animation of the international music streaming markets, 2011-2015

Continue reading ‘The Music Streaming Market Revisited, 2011-2015’

19
May
16

Live Nation in the Digital Paradigm Shift

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.

Continue reading ‘Live Nation in the Digital Paradigm Shift’

31
Jan
16

The Global Music Publishing Market – An Analysis

In a Music Business World Wide article[1], 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[2] 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

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.

Continue reading ‘The Global Music Publishing Market – An Analysis’

01
Jan
16

Music Business Research 2015 – in retrospective

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.

Continue reading ‘Music Business Research 2015 – in retrospective’




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