Music Business

Music Publishing News Roundup: 100% Licensing • UK Synch Income Doubles • Music Streams Pass Video


The U.S. Department of Justice has chosen not to amend the 1941 consent decree and is moving ahead with the interpretation that PROs must use 100-percent licensing. The two-year process to amend the consent decree would have made it so music publishers had the right to withdraw digital licensing from the blanket licenses offered by ASCAP and BMI.

Music publishers are also displeased at the decision to engage 100-percent licensing, as it may lead to reduced royalty rates, less collaboration between songwriters, and chaos for licensing in general.

In the UK, publishers are bringing in more than twice as much in sync revenue than record labels, at about £52m in 2014.  While recorded music typically brings in at least six times the amount from streaming than compositions, the value of sync revenue and direct licensing has proven to be much more lucrative for publishers.  Jane Dyball, CEO of the UK’s Music Publishers Association attributes the success of publishing in sync to its commitment to developing talent,  with publishers spending £162m on A&R in 2014, just £16m behind record labels.

In the first half of 2016, for the first time in the history of the US music industry, more music streams took place on audio platforms than on video platforms.  Nielsen Music’s mid-year report confirms that audio platforms saw 113.6 billion streams (up 97.4% from last year) in the last six months, with video platforms only at 95.3 billion streams.  Streaming in general is up 58.7% from 2015, will on demand audio and video music streams at 208.9 million so far this year.

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