Following January’s flurry of sales stats and data, and with Midem complete, it feels appropriate to now look forward at the priorities and challenges facing us in 2014. In terms of Merlin, and our place in the digital music market, that means two key and interconnected areas.
First, the streaming market, which is quickly coming of age.
According to Nielsen’s recently published figures, in the US licensed streams increased last year by 32%. In the UK, streaming now accounts for 10% of the value of recorded music sales. Given the relative infancy of the market -- remember, Spotify only arrived in the States 18 months ago -- this is a significant and positive trend. And there is more to come. A new wave of competitors, following the lead of Beats Music, are primed for launch over the coming months. Meanwhile, existing services are rolling out far beyond the major markets, into South and Central America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. For recorded music, streaming has genuine potential to deliver global dividends.