Global music copyright value hits $41.5B in 2022

A resurgence in performing rights and a surge in demand for physical music products drove the global music copyright value to a record-breaking $41.5 billion in 2022, surpassing the $40 billion milestone for the first time, according to a report released this week.

While record labels remained dominant in the global music market, the report’s author, Will Page, noted that the annual increase of $5 billion was “evenly shared” between recorded music and music publishing. This 2022 valuation represented a 16% increase at constant currency, with currency fluctuations playing a significant role. Page also revised the value of global music copyright for 2021 to $36.9 billion from $39.6 billion due to updated foreign exchange rates. Nearly $2 billion of this restatement came from IFPI’s global recorded music revenues, and approximately $1 billion from music publishing.

Record labels claimed $26 billion of the $41.5 billion sum, representing a 62.7% share, slightly lower than the shares in 2021 (64.6%) and 2020 (63.5%). The slowdown in labels’ digital revenue since 2020 has been compensated by over $1 billion in growth from physical formats due to the surging demand for CDs in Asia and a high appetite for vinyl records in Europe and the United States, a trend expected to continue.

Music publishers increased their share of the global total to 37.3%, possibly due to a “lag effect,” where labels tend to license to new streaming platforms before publishers. Another reason could be early accruals from the royalty increase in the United States from the Copyright Royalty Board, a shift that will fully materialize when the 2023 figures are calculated.

Publishers’ direct revenue rose from $3.7 billion to $4.1 billion but accounted for a slightly smaller 9.9% share of total revenue, down from 10.2% in 2021. Songwriter Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) rebounded, claiming a 27.5% share of total revenue worth $11.4 billion, boosted by music’s return to the live space post-pandemic, which led to gains in public performance royalties.

The report suggests that the $41.5 billion figure could be conservative, taking into account that it incorporates global recording revenue tallied by IFPI. MIDiA Research, known for researching segments sometimes undercounted by IFPI, estimates the value of global recorded music in 2022 at $18.9 billion, about 8% higher than IFPI’s figure of $17.5 billion. If MIDiA’s methodology holds, the global copyright value might be closer to $45 billion than $40 billion and could even reach $50 billion sooner than anticipated, doubling the global music copyright’s value since 2014.

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