The State of Affairs (15th Apr 2016): Global Music Revenue Growth and Sony sues Defunct Streaming Service.

  • Nicholas Price
  • April 15, 2016
  • Comments Off on The State of Affairs (15th Apr 2016): Global Music Revenue Growth and Sony sues Defunct Streaming Service.

This week in the music industry, we’re treated to a global report on the growth of the music industry from IFPI and Sony takes on defunct streaming service Rdio over licensing dollars.

Digital Revenue Overtakes Physical  In IFPI Global Music Report


On the 12th of April, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released its Global Music Report detailing the annual growth of the international recording industry. The report reveals the first revenue growth in years and an explosion in music consumption – trends previously suggested in national reports from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Germany’s federal music industry association, the Bundeverband Musikindustrie (BVMI).

To bust right in to the numbers, the global music industry revenue rose by 3.2% to US$15 billion. Digital sales were up by 10%, contributing 45% of industry revenue, overtaking revenue from physical formats at 39%. Streaming revenue accounted for 43% of digital sales, but only an estimated 4% of that came from ad-supported streaming services despite holding the largest audience of 900 million subscribers. Download revenue was down by 10.5% and  physical revenues down by 4.5%.

“Our industry’s efforts have brought the music industry closer to sustainable growth than we have been for 20 years,” said IFPI Chief Executive, Frances Moore.

The report also highlights a growing problem in the industry dubbed the ‘Value Gap’, encompassing the consumption of music at record levels across the world but also a lack of a fair remuneration to artists and producers.

In her executive summary, Moore speaks about the Value Gap, explaining though change is needed it is up to policy makers to enact that change.

The Value Gap can be empirically proven in the comparison between subscription and ad-supported revenues and their user counts. Its clear that though ad-supported streaming holds  a much greater user-base that doesn’t correlate to fair contributions to the music industry.


“The message is clear and it comes not only from a united music community but also from a wider group of creative industries: the value gap is the biggest constraint to revenue growth for artists, investors and all music rights holders,” said Moore.

Sony Music Sues Defunct Streaming Service Rdio


On April 5th, Sony Music Entertainment (SME) filed a lawsuit against senior executives of now-defunct streaming service Rdio, claiming it defrauded the record label of millions of dollars in licensing fees. The complaint targets three of Rdio’s executives, Chief Executive Anthony Bay, General Counsel Elliott Peters and Senior in Charge of Content Licensing Jim Rondinelli.

In the lawsuit, Sony claims Rdio purposely kept its Pandora negotiations and impending bankruptcy secret  to hold back Sony from demanding immediate payment of the $5.5 million already owed. The misrepresentation lead to a reconstruction of payment obligations that would become defunct after bankruptcy.

“Unbeknwnst to SME… Rdio was negotiating the amendment to its Content Agree with SME, it was simultaneously negotiating its deal with Pandora – under which Rdio would file for bankruptcy; Pandora would buy Rdio’s assets out of bankruptcy; defendant Bay… would expect to be first in line to receive proceeds of the Pandora deal; and SME… would receive pennies on the dollar for the amounts owed to it under the amended Content Agreement,” read the claim.

At the time of filling for bankruptcy, Rdio was losing $2 million each month and had more the $190 million secured debt and about $30 million in unsecured debt, it’s fair to assume some of the was owed to SME.

The Round Up

BIGSOUND 2016 will mark the event’s 15th anniversary and will take place from the 7th – 9th of September. There are number of discounted early bird tickets available for purchase HERE.

A severe fire broke out next Studio ARTES on Sunday, April 3rd. Nobody was hurt, but the studio was severely damaged. They’re accepting donations to help support and recover. Donate HERE.

Beni Bjah has taken home the 2015/16 WAM Song Of The Year with his song “Survivor”. Congratulations!

Mark Fennessy has taken over the reigns as Creative Director for the ARIA Awards’ 30th Anniversary. Congratulations and good luck!

ARIA Singles Chart
1. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
2. Alan Walker – Faded
3. Fifth Harmony Feat. Ty Dolla $ign – Work From Home
4. Disturbed – The Sound of Silence
5. Gnash Feat. Olive O’Brien – I Hate U, I Love U
6. Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza
7. The Chainsmokers Feat. Daya – Don’t Let Me  Down
8. Sia – Cheap Thrills
9. Meghan Trainor – No
10. Hilltop Hoods Feat. Montaigne & Tom Thum – 1955

ARIA Album Chart
1. Lukas Graham – Lukas Graham
2. Adele – 25
3. Zayn – Mind of Mine
4. Molly (Soundtrack from the TV series)
5. Hilltop Hoods – Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung
6. Disturbed – Immortalized
7. Baby Metal – Metal Resistance
8. Justin Bieber – Purpose
9.  The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come To Expect
10. X – Ed Sheeran

AIR 100% Independent Singles Chart
1. Sia – Cheap Thrills
2. Flume Feat. Kai – Never Be Like You
3. Joel Adams – Please Don’t Go
4. Sia – Alive
5. The Rubens – Hoops
6. Sia – Chandelier
7. Vance Joy – Fire and the Flood
8. The Temper Trap – Thich As Thieves
9. Sia – Elastic Heart
10. Flume Feat Vince Stapes & Kucka – Smoke & Retribution

AIR 100% Independent Album Chart
1. Sia – This is Acting
2. The Cat Empire – Rising with the Sun
3. Planetshakers – Momentum (Live In Manila) Planetshakers
4.Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
5. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
6. Urthboy – The Past Beats Inside Me Like A Second Heartbeat
7. Colin Buchanan – Boss of the Cross
8. The Jezabels – Synthia
9. The Murlocs – Young Blindness
10. Hermitude – Dark Night Sweet Light


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