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Report: global value of music copyright reached $30.1bn in 2018


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One of the quirks of the way the music industry makes its market data available is that we tend to talk about the ‘value of the industry’ purely in terms of recordings: thanks to the IFPI’s annual Global Music Report. Meanwhile, collecting societies body Cisac publishes an annual report of its members’ collections, including a breakdown for music.

Former Spotify exec Will Page has for some years been producing an annual calculation bringing recordings and publishing together in a ‘value of the music copyright business’ metric. He published his latest (via Billboard) on Friday.

The key numbers: “The total global value of the music copyright business reached $30.1 billion in 2018, an all-time high in nominal terms… although still shy of its 2001 peak once inflation is taken into account,” wrote Page. The 2018 total – and take note, these are not 2019 figures, due to the lag required in collecting all this data, but the year before – was a 9.3% increase year-on-year from 2017. Page’s figure includes recorded music and publishing – including performance rights, mechanical royalties and sync licensing – by cross-referencing the IFPI and Cisac stats with Music & Copyright’s estimates of publisher revenues, while adjusting to avoid double-counting revenues collected by labels then paid out to publishers.

One conclusion made by Page based on the overall figure: “The fact that it has now passed the $30 billion mark will make it easier to get the attention of policymakers who make decisions about the legal and commercial framework of copyright.”

Stuart Dredge

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