Music Publishing in the US - Industry Market Research Report

Music Publishing in the US - Industry Market Research Report

  • September 2021 •
  • 45 pages •
  • Report ID: 199004 •
  • Format: PDF
Played out: The digitization of music will likely continue to aid the industry due to growing streaming revenue


Music Publishing in the US

The Music Publishing industry carries a low level of market share concentration, despite the industry’s three largest companies, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Warner Music Group, owning the rights to the vast majority of contemporary and older popular music recordings. The remainder of the industry is highly fragmented, and many players are small subsidiaries of the three major music labels.

Major labels hold firm grasp

• The largest operators in this industry are subsidiaries of larger parent companies and have many subsidiaries themselves. Universal Music Publishing Group, the largest industry operator, is owned by the French media giant Vivendi SA, and owns and manages 14 major recording sublabels itself.

• The second-largest operator, Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a business segment of Sony Corporation of America (Sony), formed as a joint venture between Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson. Sony/ATV has offices in more than 50 countries and owns and administers the rights to titles from a broad range of artists.

Consolidation boosts profit

• Over the five years to 2019, large industry operators have completed a series of acquisitions and mergers of smaller, more profitable competitors in order to mitigate a declining market.

• Most notably, EMI, the fourth-largest operator at the time, sold off each of it’s business lines, with Universal’s acquisiting of EMI’s recorded music operations and Sony, as part of a consortium of investors, acquiring the music publishing arm of EMI Group, securing Sony/ATV’s position as the world’s largest music publisher.

Artists drive competition
• Operators in this industry must compete not only to gain contracts with major name artists but also to license those artists’ songs for as much profit as possible in a highly competitive marketplace. Music publishers compete based on the range of music compositions held and the characteristics of the recording artists and their music offerings. Companies compete for the ownership of songs that are most likely to garner widespread distribution, and they compete for the creative talents of both new artists and artists that have already established themselves through other labels.

This industry acquires, copyrights and authorizes the licensed use of musical compositions and recordings. Publishers may own the rights to various musical works or have been chosen to administer copyright and licensing agreements on behalf of musicians, songwriters and composers. Licensing agreements specify the royalties paid to publishers in exchange for authorized use of these works through various media channels.

This report covers the scope, size, disposition and growth of the industry including the key sensitivities and success factors. Also included are five year industry forecasts, growth rates and an analysis of the industry key players and their market shares.

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