5 Music Export & Internationalization

We would like to increase our audience and revenues abroad and increase our competitiveness of the domestic music in the global competition for the Czech market. From 2020 artists, technicians, managers, and the supporting organizations of collective management and granting authorities make a joint effort to increase the quantity of music sales and the value of music sales.

The European unification and borderless travel made live music more international than ever, and the emergence of global music streaming increased the global repertoire competition to levels that nobody could imagine a decade ago. Czech music is facing a very strong competition abroad and losing market share in its home market base.

Any increase in quality and professionalization requires increased and more steady revenues from the live music stream, the recorded music stream and the authors’ or publishing music stream. Only parallel growth in value and quantity can result in a non-linear, quick growth for the sector.

5.1 Program Considerations

In comparison with other countries in the region, this year the Czech repertoire was very competitive on Spotify, taking 20-30% percent of the most streamed top 50 songs. This is an excellent starting point, because it is always the domestic market that can generate the most stable foundation for significant revenues.

Domestic Production on Spotify National Top 50 in 2019

Figure 5.1: Domestic Production on Spotify National Top 50 in 2019

However, the strong domestic performance does not translate yet into export success. The cross-border circulation of songs, especially among hits which take home most of the royalty revenues, is generally weak in the EU. Apart from the strong performance of German producers in the Austrian market, usually no European countries’ producers get into among the most streams songs in another European country, except for the United Kingdom.

5.1.1 Impact On Artists, Professionals & Enterprises

Please give your personal example, if the change above would start, what positive impact you would expect to feel on your professional career or on your enterprise / organization?

Karolína Pavlova, founder of record label Label s.r.o: I would like to see that our bands are applying to showcase festivals in markets where they have a chance to build a lasting fan base. The basic analytics of YouTube or Spotify give us very little guidance on where to go. I really hope that SoundCzech will be able to give us some more concrete clues because we are just not big enough to try our luck in all 80 territories that have advanced DSP services. Maybe nobody is big enough for that in Europe.

Jan Svoboda, talent managers, Artist Management s.r.o: Foreign tours are our most stable income, but we currently rely on our own touring experience. We have some destinations, for example, France, where we already know the market very well, but if we’d try to lengthen to tour to Spain, we would run all the risks of having to rely on word of mouth. The financial risk of a failed show is so big that we have to be very cautious in going to new regions. Any market research from a Czech perspective would help - we are just not big enough to keep an eye on more European countries.

5.2 Live Music Export

Our research data shows that Bratislava is the strongest “exporting city” in the region, while Prague is the “strongest destination”. In the case of Bratislava, all nearby larger towns are beyond the border of Slovakia (Vienna, Brno, Győr), and Slovak towns are generally small. For Czech bands, Bratislava is the most important foreign destination, which is also the richest city in the Visegrad region.

While for Hungarian and Slovak bands Vienna is the most important point of orientation, Czech bands, if they do not go to Bratislava, go into the direction of Berlin. They can benefit from the proximity of a dense and rich German tour network that gives further access to France and the Benelux. Besides, Vienna and Linz are obvious targets for them.

Strongest Regional Tour Connections

Figure 5.2: Strongest Regional Tour Connections

5.3 Recorded Music Export

Export from CZ, DE, FR, SE to Spotify National Top 50 Charts in European Countries

Figure 5.3: Export from CZ, DE, FR, SE to Spotify National Top 50 Charts in European Countries

Czech producers have one market where their performance is strong: the Slovak market. Because of the strong historical ties, geographical and cultural proximity, and a circulation of the artists themselves between the two countries, this is almost a home market for the Czech music industry. However, in the last four month, no other Czech producer scored any hits in any other European countries on streaming services.

We repeat the last chart with a focus on the smaller shares in national hitlists to make it more readable.

Export from CZ, DE, FR, SE to Spotify National Top 50 Charts in European Countries (zoom)

Figure 5.4: Export from CZ, DE, FR, SE to Spotify National Top 50 Charts in European Countries (zoom)

5.4 Presence in the Global Publishing Markets

Publishers sell individual licenses to use the music in advertising, films, television shows, and video games. Most of these creative decisions, except for Czech commercials and films are taken outside of the country. However, because the Czech film industry has very strong production ties with important Hollywood studios and large European arthouse film makers, the @ref(#CCI) Alliance With Creative Industries should be an important tool to make progress here.

Czech film-makers, similarly to Hungarians, could only increase their value added if they could send more professionals into the royalty earning creative, art departments of the international productions that are made in Prague and the rest of the country. Composers and conductors have to climb the same career ladder that script writers, art directors, costume designers, directors and producers do. They must get first uncredited, later credited, assistant roles, and build positive references and working experiences to become department heads.

For the Czech music industry, of course department leads in music, sound recording or conductor roles are important, because they make decisions that give further work for performing musicians, composers and their teams.

There are positive experiences in Poland and Hungary that Czech publishers could utilize and further adapt to their cooperation with the Czech film, television and advertising industry.

5.5 International Repertoire Competition

  • Radio programming and radio quotas. The working group should monitor the radio charts and the position of the domestic repertoire on the public broadcaster, local radios and commercial radios. Experience with the Slovak and Hungarian radio quotas should be exchanged, and the introduction of a radio quota should be discussed.

  • Evaluation on promoting Czech music in restaurant, retail and hotel background music. OSA & later Intergram, which joined sales in a one-stop-shop, has introduced a scheme, similarly to several other collective management societies, to help the local repertoire in this increasingly valuable channel. The experiences should be evaluated for potential further improvement.

  • Monitoring the use of the Czech repertoire in Czech television and the experience with audiovisual content quotes. Audiovisual content quotas may be important for the creative partners, but they affect the music business indirectly, too. When the use of domestic content is higher on television, it is likely that the domestic music component is higher, too, leading to higher public performance royalties for composers, producers and performers.

5.6 Working Group On Music Export & International Competition

Please give the following details if you would be ready to join this working group: Jan Svoboda, concert promoter, Concerts s.r.o, 17 years of concert promoting experience.

This working group would require the active participation of SoundCzech, publishers, labels, tour managers, and talent managers with many years of experience in foreign sales. The working group should focus on repertoire competition and imports, and potentially with experience on audiovisual and radio quotas. It would be very good if the collective management societies were involved.

5.7 Indicators to Measure Progress & Keep Direction in Music Exports

5.7.1 Strategic indicators

  • Royalty income from foreign public performance (to be measured by OSA)

  • Czech songs in the radio / streaming charts of other countries, particularly other countries than Slovakia

5.7.2 Impact indicators

  • Longer tours with more reported tour destinations (to be measured by the annual CEEMID Music professional survey)

  • more songs featured on domestic and international charts, hitlists.

5.7.3 Effect indicators

  • monitoring reports are available on the market values of Spotify, Deezer, Apple streams in various territories, likely values of broadcast use in radios and television

  • market information is available on contestable markets

  • music export grant parameters reflect likely success criteria.