Friday, December 23, 2011

10 things we’ve learned in 2011

by Emmanuel Legrand

1 - Big is not enough – Ginormous you must be

With the latest episode of the EMI saga unfolding, it suddenly appears that the only way to survive in the music industry is to become bigger. Universal (and parent company Vivendi) believe that being the market leader is not enough, and that the only way to keep delivering big figures is by getting even bigger. Hence the acquisition of EMI’s recorded music division. Obviously getting bigger in a shrinking market is not the same as getting bigger in times of growth. But how big can you become without significantly distorting the market? How can a market function when you only have three main players plus a mosaic of small players and when number two and three together don’t even match the market leader in size? That is the billion dollars question that regulators will have to answer. And it is not just a rhetorical question.

2 - Publishing is where the real money is

The same level of consolidation that affects recorded music is now starting to take place in publishing. Sony/ATV and EMI Music publishing combined should become market leaders, with Universal Music Publishing second and Warner Chappell third. Then comes new player BMG Rights Management, which has snapped in recent months Chrysalis and Bug Music, but failed to win EMI Music Publishing. Investing money in music publishing does not seem to worry VC companies and capital can be raised for acquisitions. These people are not in the habit of throwing money through the windows so there must be some rationale behind that. Maybe it is the belief that, no matter what, music publishing will always deliver a return on investment. But the real cost of this way of thinking is felt in the bio-diversity of the eco-system, and not for the better.

3 - Who controls data follows the flow of money

The year ended with two almost simultaneous announcements: Live Nation was acquiring measurement company BigChampagne; and Google, via YouTube, was buying RightsFlow, a music licensing and rights management company. Add to that the on-going discussions between stakeholders regarding the Global Repertoire Database, the launch of radio monitoring company Kollector, and the development of MusicMetric, which monitors “buzz” around artists, and suddenly there’s that feeling that data is king. Live Nation needs to be able to identify traction on artists to better sell concert tickets; YouTube needs a back office to cope with the scope of the data they generate on a daily basis to identify and pay rights owners; music industry stakeholders and digital services need the best database of metadata to ensure that rights owners are properly compensated. It is not only the flow of money that you can control through data, it is the market as a whole. And we ain’t seen nothing yet in this field.

4 - In video there’s a business

The successes of YouTube and Vevo have changed the currency of music videos. From a product that only had the L column filled in a P&L, suddenly there are a few pennies in the P, thanks to YouTube’s ad schemes, but mostly thanks to Vevo’s aggressive way to package videos to consumers and sell the eyeballs to advertisers. Since its inception, Vevo has poured $100 million back into the music industry. That was just based on business in the US, and the company is now expanding internationally. Against all odds, Vevo is proving that videos are still one of the most potent way to promote music, but can also be moneymakers. Bravo!

5 – Streaming is not yet a win-win

With the successful launch of Spotify in the US and Deezer rolling out its service throughout the world, the focus is now on the value of these streaming services. To consumers, these services do provide value. They allow access to millions of tracks with good sound quality and in a completely legal way. And it is so good that you don’t need to “own” the songs any more, since you can access them any time and anywhere. But with the decision by some artists like Coldplay to hold their new tracks and prevent them from being on Spotify has shifted the debate on the financial value these services bring to rights holders. A lot of record company executives (and a few artist managers too, obviously) only see these services as another form of evil in that they might be legal and fully licensed, so they lure people away from rogue sites, but they also cannibalise digital sales. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek argued that the service was a significant contributor to the music industry’s bottom line (especially in Sweden where it first launched) and that it is only the start of a process that will see more and more consumers switching to a subscription model for music, and that will see revenues grow in parallel. It is vital for the music industry that Ek’s vision prevails, but there are already new challenges…

6 – Is the cloud full of smoke?

They all went into the cloud – the Apples, Amazons and Googles of this world – and for the moment, the verdict is still open on how (or if) it will transform the landscape. But the cloud has the potential to be a massive game changer if consumers can secure in the cloud all the music that they own, and then access a vast number of services that will enhance their experience. If this idea eventually picks up, if will have repercussions for rights owners and discussions are going on about what set of rights services need to clear with rights owners. 2012 will most certainly clarify some of this and also give indications as to whether yes or no this new development is the panacea that many would like it to be.

7 – Finding the appropriate copyright regime for the digital age is complicated

Attempts to modernise or adapt copyright legislation by taking into consideration all its aspect is damn complicated, it seems. The US is caught in a battle of words (and more) between what bloggers call “Big Content” (all the creative industries) and, to simplify, internet and mobile companies over a text called ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ or SOPA. The UK is launching the process that will see the revisions of its copyright regime and there are already clashes about which way to go. India has been delaying for many months the discussion on a new Copyright Bill. And on and on. Never has it been so difficult to strike a balance between the rights of copyright holders and the aspirations of consumers, and the needs of companies with new business models or visions. It is fascinating that copyright and rights holders could be portrayed as preventing innovation and a danger to freedom, and big businesses (seriously big businesses) could appear as the paragons of freedom.

8 – Is the music industry finally turning the corner?

Universal Music big boss Lucian Grainge believes it, and so does Nick Gatfield, CEO of Sony Music UK, who sees a turnaround in two-three years. There are indeed some indicators that something might be happening: digital sales up, countries that have been enjoying negative growth for the most part of the decade seem to have stabilised. One major trend to watch in 2012 to see if the situation really improves.

9 – Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ is brilliant…

…but will she last?

10 - All hail the new Queen of Pop, Adele

It was her year! Adele’s the most successful artist of the year and it looks like she’s going to challenge Lady GaGa for the crown of the most successful act of the century. To Adele’s credit (and to that of all the Beggars team around the world), it was as organic as a success it could be, by letting the music do the talking (OK, there was a bit of marketing too, at least in the US…). Of course the videos were great, of course she has the voice, but would that be enough to warrant such success? What sold her to millions was that she did not sound fake, that she was her own self, and that she had bloody good songs too. Adele’s success marks the end of Cowell’s illusion that you can go on ad vitam in selling wind. Sure enough he will continue to offload his armies of wannabes, but Adele’s global success just killed the idea that it was just good enough to appear on TV and mumble half-baked versions of existing songs as long as you looked good. And come to think of it, half of the year she was mute, so what would have happened in she had had her voice, eh?

Best wishes for the New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sad ‘morna’ for Cesaria Evora

By Emmanuel Legrand

Cesaria Evora, who died on Dec. 17 at the age of 70, was called “the barefoot diva” but aside from the stunning voice, she was nothing of a diva. She was the anti-diva. She was the least self-centred star you could ever meet. She was a colourful, humble, lively and funny person. She saw what was happening to her as a blessing and enjoyed every moment of it.

For her life before achieving global success had not been very enjoyable. She was from Mindelo, a port on Sao Vincente, one of the islands of the Cape Verde archipelago, off the coasts of Africa. Her father died when she was seven and had to earn a living at a very early age, which she did in her teens by relying on her main asset – a voice that flowed like honey. She had problems with men (she married three times), she looked after her kids and struggled to make both ends meet.

Her reputation grew in Mindelo and also in Portugal. She sang ‘mornas’, the traditional songs from Cape Verde, reflecting the tough lives of the people on the islands. She also used to sing taking her shoes off – hence the ‘barefoot’ reference – something she continued to do throughout her career, despite her fame.

In the late 80s, her music attracted the ears of Jose da Silva, a Parisian of Cape Verdean origin, who took her under his wings and got her to record for the newly created label Lusafrica. Sealing a deal with indie distributor Melodie, da Silva released her first album in France, ‘La diva aux pieds nus’ (the barefoot diva), which started to get media and public attention. And suddenly she graduated from the bars of Mindelo in Cape Verde to the world stage.

Melodie’s PR Francois Post became an evangelist and started calling all media (yours truly included) to rave about this incredible artist. And for once, it was not just hype for the sake of it. Evora was not sold on her looks but on her voice and on the beauty of her music. There was substance, there was a real history to her life. She was not manufactured. I remember writing a piece in 1988 for trade magazine Music & Media, trying to explain that she was not your average pop act, but that she was worth listening to (and to my surprise, the piece was published!).

Her voice and her demeanour won large audiences. And hundreds of thousands started buying her albums, in France and in the rest of the world. Da Silva – who was also managing her – made an international distribution deal with BMG for her recordings. Her most successful album was 1992’s ‘Miss Perfumado’, which helped her crack the US market. In 2004, she won a Grammy for her album ‘Voz D’Amor’, crowning an amazing career.

She spent most of the 90s travelling the world, winning new fans each time she was performing. On stage, she would just let the music take over. There would no props, aside from her bare feet and a glass of alcohol that she could sip while smoking a cigarette when her musicians played an instrumental tune. There was nothing revolutionary in her music, but it came from her heart and from the soul of generations of Africans who had suffered from slavery, colonisation and deprived lives.

Once, flying to Hong Kong for Midem Asia in 1996, I ended up on the same flight as her. She was due to perform in HK and also in Macau, where she would be greeted as a superstar by the Portuguese community living there. She was on an Air France flight from Paris and she was flying coach. When I asked someone who was working with her how come she was not in business, which would have been fair for a person her age with her status, I was told that she was due to fly business but her musicians were flying coach, so she gave up her comfort in order to be with them and enjoy their presence rather than being alone at the front of the place. While in HK, she stayed in a rather small room at the YMCA, but as long as she could smoke and crack jokes with her musicians she was happy.

In September of this year, she gave a very touching and heartbreaking interview to my friend Veronique Mortaigne from French daily Le Monde (Mortaigne wrote a book about Evora) in which she was announcing that she was quitting the business of touring to look after her health. “I need to rest,” she said to Mortaigne. She had just been going through some serious heart problems and revealed that she had a stratospheric blood pressure that was mostly due to her diet of sweets. Evora was extremely emotional during the interview. It was to be her last public comment.

Upon learning about her passing, Cape Verde president Jorge Fonseca called for two days of national mourning. She was the voice of Cape Verde and she never lost sight of where she came from. And she touched the hearts of millions with her soulful voice. Up there she is probably singing a few mornas, cracking jokes, lighting a cigarette and sipping a well-deserved drink. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Barbara Orbison, R.I.P.

By Emmanuel Legrand

Barbara Orbison, widow of the great Roy Orbison, died in Los Angeles on Dec. 6 at the age of 60. She had pancreatic cancer.

When she met Orbison, she was a 17-year-old German student in Leeds. He was 32. They married the year after they met and built a partnership in which she was spouse, lover, mother, friend and manager looking after his business, especially his publishing and recording assets.

Musexpo Europe’s international publishers’ panel:
Barbara Orbison is third from right.
As she explained in June 2009, at Musexpo in London during a music publishing panel that I moderated, it was not always easy to be all of this at the same time. She joked that sometimes the business woman had to make a tough decision that the artist would not like, but they would still be able to continue to operate as a couple or as parents, as if nothing had happened. 

There is no doubt that she helped him put his career back on tracks. She discovered all the intricacies of the music business the hard way. She realised that Orbison had been ripped-off quite a few times and decided to bring some order to his financial situation and took control of the various aspects of his career.

Interviewing her at Musexpo was a blast. She was a fascinating woman, not least because of her incredible life and her beauty. During the panel, she exuded confidence and was straight to the point, eager to share her experience and very much a hands-on executive. She was very grounded and you could see that she was a tough business operator. And she definitely knew what she was talking about: she asked me during the prep meeting some very specific questions about European publishers. 

Overall, she was in charge of Orbison Productions, which included three Barbara Orbison-owned companies: Orbison Records, Barbara Orbison Productions, and Still Working Music, the music publishing unit – fittingly located in the Orbison Building in Nashville, Tennessee. After his death in 1988 she became the custodian of his legacy and was very controlling of Orbison’s image and of the use made of his music. 

Of course, Roy’s copyrights were crucial to the company (she described his catalogue during the Musexpo panel as “a cash cow”) but she was also signing and batting for new songwriters. She was awarded BMI's 2010 Song of the Year for ‘You Belong With Me’, co-written by Taylor Swift (who performed the song) and Liz Rose.

She was very active keeping Orbison's legacy alive. With her son Roy Kelton Orbison Jr., she oversaw the production of the four-CD box set ‘Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock and Roll’ (Sony Legacy). 

In January 2010, with the organizers of Midem, we tried to lure her to Cannes to talk about her business, but unfortunately she stayed in the US, as she was due to accept a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on behalf of her husband. Can’t compete with that!

She is survived by her sons Wesley Orbison, 46, Roy Kelton Orbison, Jr., 41 and Alexander Orbison, 36.

According to AP, she will be buried next to her husband at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles. And ‘A Celebration of Life’ will be held at a date to be confirmed in Nashville.

Monday, December 5, 2011

China and India – The sleeping music giants?

By Emmanuel Legrand

[This story was initially commissioned by the UK’s BASCA. Here’s an expanded version of the story published in the winter issue of the organisation’s magazine.]

China and India have been catching the attention of the British music community for decades. But while quite a few British artists could claim to be “big in Japan”, few can pretend to be “big in India” or “big in China”. For how long? The ambition to crack the world’s two most populated countries in the world should come a normal career step for any act, since they are extremely attractive markets.

It is easy to see why China and India may look like ideal playgrounds for British songwriters, composers, artists, labels and music publishers: both countries have an impressive population (1.3 and 1.2 billion inhabitants, respectively), with a large share of under 25. Despite remnants of poverty, they have booming economies and a growing middle class counting hundreds of millions of people with purchasing power and an eagerness to consume; plus they are the two largest markets in the world for mobile phone usage.

But the conditions for a thriving music market have not been achieved yet in both countries - although they offer a lot promise, they certainly have their own market idiosyncrasies to deal with. On the positive side, both India and China have made efforts in the past decade to bring their copyright regime in line with that of other countries.

“Generally speaking, the Chinese copyright law in itself is adequate enough to build a sound business, and like in China, India’s Copyright Law in itself is generally speaking adequate,” says KT Ang, the Singapore-based Regional Director & Regional Counsel of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) for the Asia-Pacific region. But, added KT Ang, in China the problem stems from the “implementation of the law” that has been “less than desirable,” while in India “the difficulties are the market practices and interpretations being made of it by the courts.”

Taste Media's
Safta Jaffery
For Safta Jaffery, Managing Director of London-based Taste Media, one of the key issues in India is the “lack of philosophy of paying royalties and no culture of respecting copyright”. Jaffery spent the most part of three years, between 2008 and 2010 focusing on the Indian and Chinese markets. He was working on a project together with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ score composer A.R. Rahman and an established music publisher, with the ambition to create a credible publishing company in India, but the project was stopped because, in Jaffery’s words, “nobody believed we were going to get paid”.

“I think we were blindly optimistic,” explains Jaffery, who adds that it is unlikely that the system would change in the foreseeable future. “It is a system that has been working for a long time and which benefits all the main players, who are incredibly powerful and who have no interest at all in changing the way it works,” he continues. “If you have a good song, film producers will take it, pay a flat fee and that’s all. Who is going to break this mould?”

Bollywood legend Javed Akhtar
speaking at the World Copyright Summit
One who has tried and still does – with some success – is Bollywood legend Javed Akhtar. The Indian lyricist, poet and screenwriter is the most prominent figure in the fight to try to get the government and legislators change the copyright regime in the country. Thanks in part to his efforts, the Indian Parliament is about to debate and, hopefully adopt, this autumn a new Copyright Act, which will amend the Copyright Act of 1957. One key amendment in the bill proposed by the government asserts that authors of underlying works and those to whom they assign their works are each entitled to an equal share of the royalties received for non-film uses, including for performing rights.

This will mark a radical transformation from the previous regime, which was centred on the “work-for-hire” philosophy and transferred all ownership of works from composers, lyricists and performers to film producers. In his keynote speech at the World Copyright Summit in June in Brussels, Akhtar noted that even the greatest composers in the country such as A.R. Rahman did not earn royalties from the use of their works in India, but ironically did so when their works were played outside the country.

“Historically, India’s songwriters have not been able to exploit performing rights,” explains Karen Buse, MD of International at PRS for Music. “The major change in the new proposed Copyright Act is that it prohibits composers from waiving all their rights. We believe this is a good thing.”

For Universal Music Publishing Group Executive Vice President for International, Andrew Jenkins, the proposed changes in the Indian copyright law, introducing a non-cessible performing right to songwriters will be a game changer. “Songwriters and composers will not be able to assign all their rights, so this will change the situation significantly,” he explains. “Indian songwriters will enjoy an ongoing right to royalties when their songs are used in future. At the moment, there is not much incentive for [non-Indian] composers to write for Bollywood movies if they have to give up all their rights.”

Jenkins believes that the Indian government “is determined to bring India’s copyright practices in line with the rest of the world; it will create a level playing field for both local and international songwriters from the world in India.”

Most industry executives agree that India presented opportunities in the music field. “There have been three quite welcomed developments in India in the past 10 years: they have reduced significantly the level of piracy in the country, there is the beginning of a retail structure, and commercial radio is emerging as a sector,” comments Dominic McGonigal, Director of Government Relations at performers’ and record companies’ music licensing organisation PPL.

Deep Emotions's
Achille Forler
Universal Music Publishing was until recently the only major publisher operating with a stand-alone company in India - Mumbai-based Deep Emotions Publishing, a joint venture initially set up by BMG and a French expat, Achille Forler. Meanwhile, in September, Sony/ATV announced a joint venture with Sony Music India to administer and develop the company’s publishing catalogue. “This is good news,” says Forler, Managing Director of Deep Emotions Publishing. “The more the players, the better.”

Forler, who has been working in the music business in India for almost 20 years, has been focusing, alongside Akhtar, on the status of local collection society, IPRS. For historical reasons, the society has been controlled by record companies and the current situation is challenged by Akhtar and a few other authors and composers who are pushing for changes and more transparency. “Our idea is to simply say that authors’ societies must be controlled by authors,” says Forler.

PRS for Music's
Karen Buse
“There are challenges in certain areas,” PRS’ Buse says, rather diplomatically. For her, revenues collected by IPRS are growing and progress has been made in many areas and there are potential benefits for UK songwriters/composers with new satellite channels that could play international movies. “We are seeing double digit growth with public performances this year,” she explained.

However, the level of revenues remains low: PRS for Music PRS regularly receives about £5,000 per year from China and is expecting £50,000 in 2011, while streams from India should reach £50-60,000 for 2011. On the flip side, she said, PRS does collect significant amounts of money that go back to Indian and Chinese songwriters.

On the question of performance rights for recordings, PPL’s McGonigal, reports some progress in India, where revenues from performance rights for recordings grew from $26.2 million in 2009 to $40.1 million in 2010, according to the IFPI. “Revenues in India are still low but they are there and they are growing,” says McGonigal, who was the signatory of the reciprocal agreement between PPL in the UK and its sister society PPL India in 2006. He attributes most of the growth to positive developments in the mobile sphere.

Mobilium International's
Ralph Simon
According to local data, Indians bought roughly 150 million portable devices, in 2010. The mobile market reaches over 800 million consumers in India. Ralph Simon, Chief Executive Officer of Mobilium International, believes that a lot of progress has been made in India thanks to what he describes as “the mammoth rise of mobile and the delivery of all kinds of IP and copyrighted content to phones – including audio content from Bollywood movies”.

Simon notes that with “the rise of the Indian ‘underground’ music scene, more artists and writers are opting for their own control and holding all digital rights” but admits that Copyright laws in India “are vastly outdated and urgently in need of addressing digital developments of all kinds”.

In addition, the country only opened up its radio airwaves about a decade ago. However, even though about 250 stations operate in the country, very little revenues go back to songwriters and publishers in terms of rights, according to Forler. But despite administrating over 2.7 million works, Deep Emotions receives a mere $40-45,000 per year from IPRS. “Public performance rights barely exist,” he said. For Indian songwriters, it was not that there were no performance rights, but they were not getting a penny of it as they had relinquished their rights to Indian film studios, according to Forler, who wants the system to change.

Not only do radio stations pay very little right, but many of them challenge in court the validity of performing rights. To make matters worse, IPRS and authors recently suffered legal setbacks. “A couple of Indian High Court decisions that effectively held that when a composer or author agrees to have his musical work included onto a sound recording, he thereafter loses his exclusive right of public performance or broadcast to the producer of the sound recording,” explained CISAC’s KT Ang.

But even is the situation was to be rectified, western artists would not stand to gain much as there is a very limited amount of non-local music played by Indian radio stations. “There is very little pop on Indian radio – it’s mostly Bollywood music,” confirms Buse.

The same applies to China, where local repertoire dominates the market and where MCSC, the Music Copyright Society of China, is in charge of collecting and distributing royalties. PRS for Music CEO Robert Ashcroft went recently to China to meet the key players, including sister society MCSC, and assess the importance of the market.

For Buse, at best, western music accounts for 10% of the total music played in China, and PRS could claim 2 to 3% of that amount. “In China, the biggest challenges are the still rampant piracy and the very low tariffs,” explains Buse. “Up until last year, broadcasters were not paying performing rights and the new tariff is so low – 0.2% of their revenues – that it will not generate much revenues.”

CISAC’s KT Ang confirmed that British songwriters could potentially generate revenues in China, mostly through covers of songs. “If a UK work is being covered or used in China, it would be perfectly possible to make money,” he says. “However, it is important to the writer to have a good representative in China who knows the market and has the right connections in the industry.”

MCSC was established in 1992, in the wake of the country’s first Copyright Act, implemented in 1991, which established the framework for authorship, ownership of works and copyright regulation. The copyright law was amended in 2001 and the main issue for rights holders has been the slow pace of its implementation and enforcement. In addition, for Ralph Simon, “There is still a lot of teething that both countries and their collection societies have to overcome to be fully cognisant with the digital and mobile age and its new demands.”

Andrew Jenkins
UMPG’s Jenkins agrees that, “China is a difficult place to do business because it does not fit any rules that we are used to working with”. “But the Chinese government is slowly moving forward to try to make things easier [for foreign businesses]. We ourselves must adapt to fit in there just as much as we look for changes in the Chinese market,” he adds.

For all those who have worked with China, one of the factors to take on board is that the political system is centralised with decisions made by the ruling Communist Party. MCSC, for example, is under the supervision and management of the General Administration of Press and Publication of China (GAPP) and its offshoot, the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC).

 “Everything goes through the government and no company eager to do business there wants to damage the relationship with the government,” says a music industry executive, pointing out to the recent difficulties of Google in China, which have shown that no matter how big the company, trading is China can be hazardous.

One industry executive suggests that the pace of change in China is likely to be slow as the current status quo benefits local artists, and that the country will open up when it will also have guarantees that revenues will come from the foreign exploitation of Chinese repertoire. “They have no advantage in speeding up the process,” says the executive.

Yet, many executives also believe that China is a land of opportunities. Stuart Watson, founder of Singapore-based music company SWAT, has organised several trade mission to China and India for western companies. “It is very exciting to be in Asia at the moment and China epitomizes the excitement,” says Watson.

He notes that many encouraging changes have taken place in China recently. Until recently, he explained, karaoke bars did not pay royalties in China, although they were by law supposed to since 2006. It is estimated that over 3,000 establishment (out of an estimated 100,000 in the country) will be licensed in 2012 and start paying royalties per booth rather than as a percentage of their turnover. “This could be huge,” says Watson.

Thanks to a rise in karaoke and sync revenues, Jenkins reported that UMPG “has seen an incredible growth in revenues year on year in China and expects the trend to continue.” Jenkins mentions, for example, a recent $100,000 sync deal based on a Bee Gees song to be used in an advertising spot. “If a Chinese company wants to use a certain type of music, they are prepared to pay for that,” he says.

Jenkins also points to a deal made in July 2011 by major labels and China’s leading online platform Baidu, for long considered a rogue site. In July 2011, Baidu announced an agreement with One-Stop China – a joint venture formed by Universal, Warner, and Sony – to distribution their catalogues and the launch of its music online platform Baidu Ting. “This is a breakthrough that will monetise key areas of digital music use in China,” says Jenkins.

Overall, most executives appear to believe that there is potential in both countries. Forler is buoyant regarding the future of the music market in India. “Very few countries have such a passion for music like India, so that’s why I am optimistic,” he says. “We need to fix a few things, and I do expect that in the near future, it will not be $45,000 a year that I will get from IPRS, but rather $400 or 500,000!”

SWAT’s Watson advises to adopt a strategy of localised efforts. For example, he suggests to pitch Indian film producers and try to work with them, and also advertising agencies, both in China and India. But for that strategy to work, “you need people on the ground,” he explains. “In Asia it is all about knowing the right people and establishing long-term relations.”

Mobilium International's Simon considers that India and China are both “in the middle of a tussle and a transition between the pre-digital view and the post-digital cross platform era”. However, he seems more confident about building digital business in China than in India. He explains, “One can build a sound business [in India], but the waste of money, time, productivity and energy on non commerce producing administration – vital as it is – saps a lot from growing young new age companies. In China, there appears to be an earnest attempt at safeguarding creative rights – as this is also in accordance with the WTO rules that China has signed up to.”

Universal’s Jenkins believes that both India and China will become in the next 5-10 years Top 10 music markets, with India perhaps leading the way. “Undoubtedly these are the two most exciting and challenging markets we operate in, both of them with huge potential,” he said. “If you plan to invest in China, you should take a longer term view. In India, we are already seeing double digit annual growth in the music business and you might see a more immediate result.”

[Update (08/03/2012): MCSC has signed early march 2012 an agreement with Chinese broadcasters' organisation CRTA that will see domestic and international creators receive remuneration for the use of their works by Chinese public TV and radio channels. In a statement, international trade body CISAC notes that the tariffs paid by broadcasters in China are very low compared to those in other markets but the streams of revenues to songwriters and composers should increase in the long term. However, only a very small portion of these revenues will go to international creators since most of the music played on Chinese airwaves is domestic.]