The Global Music Copyright Business Is Worth More Than You Think - And Grew By Nearly $1Bn Last Year

No Comments 20 December 2016

The Global Music Copyright Business Is Worth More Than You Think - And Grew By Nearly $1Bn Last Year

How much is the global music business really worth?

The regularly-cited answer to that question: $15bn.

That’s the (approximate) figure the IFPI has placed on the recorded music business’s annual revenues for the past few years.

In 2016, according to early estimates, that figure looks likely to rise up towards $16bn.

But in truth, it still only conveys one part of the music copyright landscape.

Last year, Spotify Director of Economics Will Page helped MBW put the first ever figure on the entire music copyright industry – that’s recorded music, plus revenues generated by publishing/authors rights.

He’s just done it again.

And today, MBW can exclusively present his latest findings.

The headline figure: According to Page, global revenues generated by music copyright in 2015 stood at $24.37bn.

Based on a US$ constant currency method, Page now estimates that the equivalent figure from 2014 was $23.43bn.

That’s a year-on-year rise of $941m or 4%.

Page’s figures take into account IFPI’s findings, in addition to global publishing/composer collection revenue stats from CISAC.

The foundation for his conclusion is created by adding these two data sets, then removing ‘double counting’ on mechanical royalties - an overlap created by the fact that record companies traditionally pay through mechanicals to publishers after collecting cash from retailers (on physical formats, and download in the US market).

In addition, Page referred to MIDIA Consulting’s model covering directly licensed publishing revenues not captured by CISAC’s annual report (such as sync).

There are added complexities - including the calculation of Pan-European Licensing (PEL) revenues, plus SESAC’s recent purchase of US mechanicals house the Harry Fox Agency, which has created more transparency on that income stream.

Page worked out USD$ revenues in constant currency, converted from the ‘root’ currency of each market’s original income.

Below, Page explains exactly how he reached his headline figure. But first, let’s delve into the most notable numbers.

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