Archive for the 'Analysis' Category

03
Apr
18

Spotify goes public – an economic background analysis

April 3rd 2018 is a historic moment in the digitized music industry, when the Swedish music streaming company Spotify is listed at the New York Stock Exchange. Spotify’s stock exchange listing is not just a touchstone for the music streaming service’s business model, but for the entire recorded music industry that is back on a path of growth. Spotify is the darling of the big music industry players. It provides a legal business model that can be monetized by hefty advances and royalty payments. This allowed the music majors and the indie label licensing agency MERLIN to become Spotify’s shareholders in return for advance payments Spotiy could not afford. Sony Music Entertainment’s Spotify stake of 5.7 percent (Spotify 2018: 148) e.g. is worth US $500m to 1.3bn.[1] The following analysis highlights Spotify’s success story, but also outlines potential risks of going public. It also analysis who benefits from Spotify’s stock exchange listing and assesses the impact on the music streaming market.

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05
Mar
18

Music Majors in the Streaming Economy: Warner Music Group

In its last annual report Warner Music Group (WMG) exhibited a total revenue of US $3.58bn – the highest since the recorded music company was sold by Time-Warner to the Investor Group in 2003. Although overall costs also increased to US $3.15bn (WMG 2017: 38-39), the operating income is remarkably high with US $222m (WMG 2017: 40) especially compared to the disastrous results of the early 2000 years with annual losses of about 1 billion US$. The main driver of the revenue growth is the music streaming boom. In the recorded music segment streaming revenue increased by US $434m to US 1.34bn in the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2017. The music publishing segment contributed a further increase of US $58m of streaming revenue (WMG 2017: 36). Thus, WMG earned almost US $500m more with music streaming in 2017 compared to 2016. The further analysis highlights how the music major’s business model has shifted to the music streaming economy.

Continue reading ‘Music Majors in the Streaming Economy: Warner Music Group’

31
Jan
18

Artists in the Music Stream – A Case Study

On 24 January 2018 the Latin superstar Enrique Iglesias filed a lawsuit against Universal International Music for “systematically underpaying streaming royalties” (complaint, Enrique Iglesias vs. Universal International Music, January 24, 2018). The lawyers of Iglesias argue that Universal Music should have paid 50 percent of the net revenue from the streaming services. Instead Iglesias was paid just a fraction of the royalties according to the rate agreed for physical and download albums. This remarkable case sheds light into the contractual practices in the recorded music industry and helps to explain, why artists contracted to record labels does not really benefit from the music streaming economy yet.

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31
Dec
17

Music Business Research 2017 – in retrospective

Dear readers of music business research blog,

The music streaming boom dominated 2017. Market statistics highlight that music streaming revenue has become the most important income stream for the phonographic industry. The US figures for 2016 highlight a tremendous shift from selling music (CDs and downloads) to accessing music (by streaming services). In the US, music consumers paid for the first time more for music access by ad-supported and paid streaming services (US$ 3.9bn) than for CDs, music downloads and ringtones (US$ 3.5bn). In the UK, the massive growth of music streaming revenue also increased overall recorded music sales in 2016. Gains of £103m in the music streaming segment, thus, compensated not just for the loss of £5.8m of physical sales, but also for the £56m decrease in download sales in a year-to-year comparison, as a long-term analysis of the UK recording sales indicates. We can, thus, expect a further massive growth of music streaming revenue in 2017 also on markets with a still strong physical segment such as Germany.

Continue reading ‘Music Business Research 2017 – in retrospective’

30
Jul
17

The UK Recorded Music Market in a Long-Term Perspective, 1975-2016

The UK recorded music industry body BPI (British Phonographic Industry) reported a remarkable increase of recorded music sales from 2015 to 2016. According to BPI the growth was mainly driven by music streaming revenue, which increased by 61.0 per cent in a year-to-year comparison. Thus, as BPI (2017) points out, “(…) streaming accounted for 30 per cent of overall label revenues in 2016 (compared to physical at 32 per cent).  Such a rate of growth will undoubtedly see the format overtake physical to become the leading contributor to label revenues in 2017.”

The sales trend, however, indicates that the UK is on the way to a music streaming economy – as the US market, a fact I have highlighted in an earlier blog post. In the following long-term analysis of the UK recorded music market I am highlighting not just the recent recovery of UK’s recorded music sales in the past few years, but also the seemingly irresistible boom of the recorded music market since the mid-1970s and the tremendous sales decline in the 2000s.

Continue reading ‘The UK Recorded Music Market in a Long-Term Perspective, 1975-2016’

05
May
17

The US recorded music market in a long-term perspective, 1990-2016

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently published the shipment figures for recorded music in the US for 2016. The statistics highlight a tremendous shift from selling music (CDs and downloads) to accessing music (by streaming services). In the US, music consumers paid for the first time more for music access by ad-supported and paid streaming services (US$ 3.9bn) than for CDs, music downloads and ringtones (US$ 3.5bn).

 

Figure 1: Selling and accessing music in the US, 1990-2016

Source: RIAA Year-End Industry Shipment and Revenue Statistics, reports 1990-2016

 

Thus, the US turned into a music streaming economy last year. It was a long way from a pure physical recorded music market in the 1990s to a yet digitized and music streaming driven market. The following blog entry identifies different periods of the US phonographic market and explains the driving forces of the change.

Continue reading ‘The US recorded music market in a long-term perspective, 1990-2016’

28
Feb
17

The Music Business in the Blockchain

When the Economist article “The Trust Machine. The Promise of the Blockchain” was published in October 2015, a broader audience beyond the bitcoin community has become interested in the disruptive potential of the cryptocurrency’s technology. Meanwhile, further articles on the blockchain have appeared in the main press and Don & Alex Tapscott published “Blockchain Revolution” (2016), which highlights in detail the (revolutionary) impact of blockchain technology on the music business in chapter 9. We also discussed the relevance of the blockchain for the music business with the Blogchain-Hub founder Shermin Voshmgir in a music business research jour-fixe in Vienna on June 20, 2016.

On March 3, 2017, Carlotta de Ninni (Mycelia for Music Foundation, London), Peter Jenner (Sincere Management, London) and Benji Rogers (PledgeMusic and Dot Blockchain Music, New York) will supervise the international workshop “The Blockchained Music Business” at the Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies (IKM) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. After the workshop(16:30-18:00) our guests will discuss the opportunities and challenges of blockchain technology for the music business in a public panel discussion in the Large Conference room of IKM (Anton-von-Webern Platz 1, 1030 Vienna).

In the following, I’m going to explain the fundamentals of blockchain technology and I outline its opportunities and challenges of the blockchain for the music business.

Continue reading ‘The Music Business in the Blockchain’




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