SWOT Analysis of Music Publishing

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Background

Music publishers represent songwriters and composers of musical works. Whilst not all composers are represented by a music publisher, most significant composers are and AMPAL's members between them represent over 95% of the economic value of the Australian music publishing sector. Whilst definitive industry figures are not available, AMPAL is in the process of collecting industry statistics. These indicate that Australia's music publishing industry has a total value of approximately 200 million dollars annually.

Some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the Australian music publishing sector are:

Strengths

  • The composition of a musical work is the primary element in the musical creative process
  • It is the core copyright from which others follow (sound recordings, sheet music production etc)
  • Music publishing is well protected by copyright law in developed countries
  • Music publishers derive income from a variety of sources including record sales, public performance and synchronisation (where music is used in TV, films etc)
  • It's a sector of the music business that has a history of working collectively through well-organised collection societies
  • Music publishing is the primary right that needs to be cleared for any synchronisation - the song can always be re-recorded but not re-written
  • Synchronisation is a business-to-business activity therefore not subject to piracy

Weaknesses

  • Music publishing is subject to variations in copyright law in different jurisdictions
  • Little or no copyright law enforced in many developing countries
  • Subject to high levels of piracy through sharing and downloading of digital music files
  • Music publishing involves a lot of administration

Opportunities

  • Increasing need for music as part of content creation
  • New platforms for dissemination of content including music
  • New and emerging markets such as India, China and the rest of Asia
  • Improvements in technology is enabling easier creation and distribution of music
  • New business models are emerging which may lead to increasing revenue

Threats

  • The culture of 'free' and 'shared' music leading to a reduction in the perceived value of music
  • The continued growth of file sharing and internet piracy
  • Technology makes music creation easier, leading to an oversupply
  • Increasing supply of music leads to price reductions
  • Weakening music market leads to fewer and less varied music publishers

Author

Mark Callaghan Submitted 2 September 2008.

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