ArtsWatch: Global Music By The Numbers

IFPI's annual recording industry statistics mark turnaround
April 15, 2013 -- 6:40 am PDT
By Philip Merrill /

In recent news ...

Recording Industry In Numbers: Has The Bleeding Stopped?
On April 8 IFPI released its "Recording Industry In Numbers 2013" statistical report, finding 0.2 percent growth in global annual revenue for 2012, marking the first year of growth, however modest, since 1999. Digital, performance rights and synchronization revenues all rose sufficiently to balance a 5 percent decline in physical sales, which makes up more than half of total revenue. IFPI CEO Frances Moore said, "After more than a decade of decline, the industry is on the path to recovery." Variations between national markets attracted analysts' attention, including reduced digital sales in Japan and South Korea, complementary trade-offs between download sales and subscription services and the ambiguous effect of new antipiracy laws in Japan and New Zealand. What is clear is that the report indicates an international music business beginning to see meaningful success from its still-evolving adaptation to the industry's demanding new realities.

Coalition Launches New Framework For Online Rights Data
The Linked Content Coalition published its first framework for the rights data supply chain on April 8, an effort to combine competing ways to express rights information using digital formats into an automated and interoperable whole. Initiated by the European Publishers Council, LCC's partners include EMI Music Publishing, IFPI and a host of major content associations and businesses including Microsoft. "There is a huge and rapidly expanding amount of digital content available throughout the Internet, but it is often difficult for either companies or individuals who want to trade in rights to find each other," said EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade. "The LCC framework addresses this problem head on and aims to secure the highest possible level of automation in licensing." With funding assistance from the European Commission, the LCC starts work on a prototype data hub next month that will likely play a leading role in Britain's Copyright Hub portal.

Internet Freedom Bill Raises Concerns
On April 11 the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology passed a draft bill with language stating, "It is the policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet." Democrats expressed concerns echoed by several federal agencies that courts could apply this bill in a manner harmful to the agencies' ability to regulate issues such as Net neutrality or child pornography. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) gained a bipartisan agreement to move the draft along to the House Commerce Committee where its language can receive further attention.

Creative America Promotes Sharing Of Its Antipiracy Infographic
Intellectual property rights advocacy organization Creative America released an infographic on April 8 dramatically illustrating the findings of last month's Carnegie Mellon University study that quantified a bump in digital film revenue after the infringing website Megaupload was shut down. The organization's "Share this infographic now!" approach offers a fun way to spread the word in an effort that will hopefully be repeated.

The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.

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