Music Publishing in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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Music publishers fared well during the recession, but the rise of digitally distributed music is forcing many operators to evolve, and over the next five years, facing rising competitive pressure, the music industries are becoming more flexible, adapting business models to meet consumers' rapidly changing needs. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Music Publishing industry in its growing industry report collection.

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The industry's success will hinge on its ability to adapt to changing music consumption.

The Music Publishing industry is in the midst of an important transition. Falling physical album sales during the past five years have forced publishers to seek out new revenue sources and become less dependent on their traditional licensing platform. To meet the changing needs of the consumer, music publishers are continuously cultivating licensing agreements with newer revenue streams like mobile outlets, digital streaming services and wireless music subscription services.

This transition has buoyed the industry in recent years, even facilitating a 9.0% jump in revenue in 2012. Adapting to these new models has helped mitigate the losses brought about by decreased consumer spending and lackluster album performances during the recession. Nevertheless, the effect of declining physical album sales and generally subdued consumer demand for music is still reverberating throughout the industry, resulting in an overall revenue decline of about 3.8% per year on average to about $4.2 billion in the five years to 2013. IBISWorld expects revenue for the Music Publishing industry to fall 1.5% in 2013.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst James Crompton, "The shift toward digital platforms has helped music publishers unearth some new revenue streams; however, the future performance of these mediums for publishers hinges on the ability to overcome some obstacles." For example, the widespread availability of music online, particularly for advertisers and other broadcasters, has made selling a song more challenging than ever. Additionally, the internet's accessibility has made it a viable vehicle for an artist to manage, distribute and promote his or her own songs and albums. Artists have become increasingly reluctant to rely on a major label and its publishing arm to oversee the management of their intellectual property.

"Even with some expected challenges, the future remains brighter for the Music Publishing industry," says Crompton. The digitization of music availability will continue to aid the industry's growth. In addition, higher government oversight activity on preventing online music piracy will benefit publishers in the long run. This control will ensure music publishers capture licensing royalties that are eliminated through peer-to-peer file sharing and piracy.

The Music Publishing industry carries a moderate level of market share concentration. Concentration in this industry has been volatile due to recent mergers and acquisitions involving major players. With such acquisitions, major entities attempt to mitigate a declining market by acquiring smaller, profitable competitors. Major players tend to own numerous smaller labels and publishers and only sign major names directly to the parent label.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Music Publishing industry in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Operators in the Music Publishing industry work for musicians, songwriters and composers. They are responsible for licensing the intellectual property of their clients and ensuring that royalties are collected. Royalties are earned in various ways, including each time a song is downloaded on iTunes, sold on an album, reproduced in a live concert or played on the radio, a television show, a movie or through other media outlets.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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