ICMP General Assembly, Cannes, France - MIDEM

ICMP held its General Assembly in Cannes on the Sunday before MIDEM and the meeting attracted a high turnout of members. In addition to the reporting and financial formalities, the meeting welcomed Haji Taniguchi, chairman of MPA Japan and Peter Hebbes, General Manager, and Catherine Gerrard, Chair, of AMPAL Australia who gave a most informative presentation on the state of the market and issues arising in the Asia Pacific region.

Mr Taniguchi explained that the recorded music market in Japan was only 10% smaller than the US, and how Asian artists from across China and South Korea dream of hitting the big-time in Japan. He described how the music landscape had completely transformed in recent years, but that despite declining sales of recorded music, JASRAC, the Japanese collecting society, has secured new income sources via the internet and blanket licensing agreements with broadcasters that have secured a stable residual income for copyright owners.

Downloads now account for about 50% of income, and concert sales jumped 19 % in 2009. Video income has risen too, particularly from Pachinko – a hugely popular form of pinball which the Japanese spend some 250 billion US$ on per year. The Japanese MPA, which has 278 member publishers, is focused on four key priorities: strengthening anti-piracy measures; extending copyright term beyond 50 years; maintaining regulation of remuneration for audio/video home recording; and looking to create an attractive and borderless environment that will make Japanese music international appealing. Mr Taniguchi asked for ICMP to support these initiatives.

Peter Hebbes, General Manager of AMPAL, Australian MPA, gave a presentation on Australia and New Zealand music publishing. Music publishers in Australia mostly benefit from films, TV, advertising, and reproductions involving new digital technologies in general, in fact Hebbes mentioned that iTunes was their biggest source of revenue. On the other hand, ring tones have dropped dramatically, and income
from synchronisation has increased. Catherine Gerrard, Chair of AMPAL, gave an update of what AMPAL is focusing on at the moment:

  • Collecting individual data about publishers’ revenues;
  • Government relations – lobbying the Government with regards to the role of music publishers and the music copyright which they administer;
  • Engaging in public education campaigns regarding piracy and liaising with other industry sectors representing content (i.e. book industry, film industry...);
  • Work in closer cooperation with local organisations: educational campaigns on copyrights for new employees.