The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has published figures which suggest that in 2013 music publishing revenues accounted for $2.2 billion of industry revenue.
This is the first time that the NMPA has been able to officially release a revenue figure for publishing income and has estimated that 52% of this is performance licensing. Another 23% is thought to have come from mechanical licensing and 20% from synchronisation.
As comforting as these figures seem, the organisation claims that this revenue is under half of what it could be were it not for the global issue of ‘out-dated’ licensing laws.
“We are finally able to capture what the industry is worth and, more importantly, what our industry is losing,” said David Israelite from the NMPA.
“The new digital marketplace is changing how songwriters and their music publishing partners can thrive… As the marketplace evolves, it is essential our industry no longer be hamstrung by out-dated laws and government regulation”.
Over the last few years Israelite claims to have spent $35.1 million litigating against services that do not properly license music creating additional revenues of $472 million to the industry.
Currently, direct deals between publishers and digital streaming services are forced to go through collecting societies ASCAP and BMI, which is where much of the wastage is thought to occur.
“The internet is already one of the most disruptive forces in our industry,” Israelite said. “Now get ready for the next great disruption, which is the move to consumer access of music on mobile phones.”
“There is no other source for music than the cell phone . . . This is how the young consume music today,” said Hesse, CEO of Spring, “Music is in a 2G time warp in terms of quality. Everything else has gotten better: voice quality, faster surfing — except for music sound quality, which is still highly compressed.”