Africa still lags behind in royalty collections – CISAC report

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This is according to the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers’ (CISAC’s) 2018 Global Collections Report released on Thursday.

The report is based on data collected from 239 collective management organisations (CMOs) in 121 countries and presents a 6.2% year-on-year increase to €9.6bn collected in five major repertoires: music, audio-visual, dramatic, literature and visual arts. Music accounted for 87% of overall global collections last year.

But despite a rise of 11.4% to €75m on collections in 2016, Africa still lags behind with just 0.8% of the global total.

This puts the entire continent on par with Mexico, which ranks in 22nd place on the top-50 list of countries that collected the most royalties for all repertoires in 2017.

The US leads the list with a global share of 19.7%, followed by France (12.6%), Germany (9.7%), Japan (8.4%) and the UK (7.8%).

Africa saw 15.7% growth in music income last year. Music accounted for most collections on the continent at 91.5%, with TV and radio earning €29m.

“This is despite strong resistance from [African] broadcasters and high levels of unlicensed use by radio stations. A 2017 survey covering CISAC societies in 22 countries found that of 2 580 radio stations, only around 40% were licensed to broadcast music,” the report says. Live and background were the second biggest source of collections in Africa at €16m.

Of the 31 African countries whose CMOs report to CISAC, the top three earners – South Africa (50.5%), Algeria (26%) and Morocco (7.2%) – make up more than 80% of the continent’s total collections.

CISAC also notes that a dramatic increase in mobile and smartphone penetration on the continent has the potential to rapidly grow the consumer base, “although weak copyright enforcement, piracy and highly dominant regional telecom operators continue to limit collections and depress royalty rates for creators”.

Private copying, which allows individuals to replicate a creative work for their own personal, non-commercial use and remunerates the creator of a work with a levy imposed on blank media and devices with storage capabilities, is also strongly noted in the report. Algeria and Morocco lead private copying collections in Africa with €5.3m and €4.2m respectively.

Looking at emerging markets mentioned in the report, Brazil is the world’s seventh largest contributor in terms of music collections, thanks to audio-visual uses. The South American country boasts €252m in music collections, or a 3% share globally.

Russia enjoyed 33.9% growth in music collections and ranks 23rd, four places above South Africa, which grew by 29.6% with a global share of 0.4%. China, the world’s most populous nation, is in 29th place while Turkey ranks 35th.

Meanwhile, CISAC has been lobbying fervently in support of the EU’s controversial Copyright Directive, which the body believes will protect content creators from copyright infringement and put more money in their pockets.

The directive is expected to be voted into law early next year after a major tug of war between supporters and opponents throughout 2018. In September, the EU Parliament voted in favour of the legislation for the first time and analysts believe it’s unlikely it will be rejected when the next round of voting takes place in January.

“Despite digital’s rise for all repertoires to €1.27bn, revenues from digital uses remain far below collections from broadcast, live and background uses,” CISAC said in reference to what it sees as inadequate pay-outs to content creators in the digital space. “Only 13% of creators’ royalties come from digital sources (up from 11%), a reflection of the gross mismatch between the volume of creative work being made available via digital channels and the amounts being returned to creators.”

CISAC president and electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre said: “CISAC is at the heart of a battle for the future of over 4 million creators worldwide. I am passionately involved in this struggle. Europe has now recognised that it is time for change: it is not acceptable for the law to shield large tech monopolies and sustain a systemic injustice for creators. There is now a message to get to the rest of the world: it is time for other governments to sit up and follow.”



ABOUT: Ellsamwise King

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