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.
Posts Tagged ‘recorded music market
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.
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.
Tags: ad-supported music services, Deezer, freemium, IFPI, iHeartRadio, iTunes, music download sales, music streaming, music subscription, Pandora, physical music market, QQ Music, recorded music market, Recording Industry in Numbers 2014, RIN 2014, SoundExchange, Spotify, Vevo, YouTube
Music streaming is on the rise. In the recent IFPI report “Recording Industry in Numbers 2014” IFPI CEO Frances Moore is cited with “Streaming is now a mainstream part of the modern music industry.” (IFPI 2015: 5) Indeed, global subscription streaming revenue increased by 39.0 per cent and ad-supported streaming revenue by 38.6 per cent in 2014. In 2014, the global music streaming market (ad-supported as well as subscription) has a volume of US $2.2bn, which is even bigger than the single track download market (US $1.9bn) (IFPI 2015: 9). Music streaming, therefore, accounts for nearly a third 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 70 per cent of the overall recorded music market, in Germany just 6.3 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 3.1 per cent.
In the following I would like to highlight the economic relevance of the music streaming market segment in an international comparison.
Brazil is the ninth largest phonographic market in the world according to the latest IFPI report, despite the fact that the revenue from recorded music sales has decreased by 58 percent since 2000. However, the Brazilian market for recorded music is more or less stable for six years now due to relatively high music video sales and the considerable growth of the digital music segment. Thus, the digital music sales have increased by 82.2 percent from BRL 24.3m to BRL 136.7m with music streaming playing an increasingly important role in the sales mix. In the following I highlight the Brazilian recorded music market by figures reported by the Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos (ABPD).
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.
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.