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Page Puts $25bn to Rights

Spotify’s Director of Economics Will Page has estimated that the music rights sector was worth over $25 billion in 2014.

This figure includes the revenues generated by songs alongside recordings and is the first estimate of its kind- Although the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry (IFPI) issue a veritable feast of stats every year, these focus solely on revenues generated by record companies from sound recording copyrights.

As explained by CMU, Page plugs a few gaps here and there to come up with a total figure of $25.28 billion- Interestingly, it is claimed that 44.8% comes from song rights, with the remainder from sound recordings.

Speaking to Music Business Worldwide and hinting at what could develop into open warfare between music industry statisticians, Page said: “Whereas the IFPI publishes the ‘Recording Industry In Numbers’ [annual report], the music publishing and songwriter side of the industry has not had a similar document to serve the industry and its analysts. I wanted to plug the knowledge gap, as industry analysts and professionals often don’t appreciate the sheer value of musical works that songwriters and publishers create”.

Commenting on the composition of the wider music rights sector, Page added: “The David and Goliath generalisation that is often used to describe publishing and recording is misleading when you stack up the numbers, as they are actually a lot more even. For instance, some rough math shows the 2014 value of musical works – $11.3 billion – far exceeds the value of ‘ownership’ revenues from physical and downloads to the labels – $9.4 billion – in the same year. Go back a decade, and all we thought the industry was about was ownership – these new numbers are a sign of the times”.

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