Music copyright-infringing platforms in Brazil are feeling the heat.
In a move supported by global recorded music body IFPI and its Brazilian national group, Pro-Música Brasil, Brazilian law enforcement are coordinating with US and UK authorities on what the IFPI calls a “substantial series of actions” as part of the fourth wave of ‘Operation 404’, an initiative to tackle infringing services online.
The operation was initiated yesterday (June 21), and will involve a series of as yet unconfirmed actions related to unlicensed music services, says IFPI.
This includes over 400 infringing music apps, which have collectively generated more than 10 million downloads, says the music body.
The operation will involved cooperation between IFPI, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, cybercrime police units from 11 states in Brazil, Homeland Security Investigations (US) and the Police IP Crime Unit, City of London Police (UK).
Last year, it was reported by MBW that the IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil’s previous efforts in Brazil resulted in a number of successful actions taken against streaming manipulation services operating in the country.
Streaming manipulation involves the creation of artificial ‘plays’ on digital music streaming services that do not represent genuine listening.
The practice warps the accuracy of charts and, ultimately, royalty payments from streaming services to music creators.
As of July 2021, more than 65 streaming manipulation services have been affected by industry actions in Brazil, including 10 sites that have shut down and 20 sites that have ceased to offer ‘fake stream’ services.
35 additional listings for music streaming manipulation services were also removed from the online marketplace Mercado Livre at the time.
In August 2020, a further five fake stream sites were forced to cease operation by court injunctions in Germany.
“these actions have seen the highest number of unlicensed music services disrupted as part of the Operation 404 campaign.”
Melissa Morgia, IFPI
Melissa Morgia, IFPI’s Director of Global Content Protection and Enforcement, said: “As a result of the coordinated work of the Brazilian authorities, together with agencies in the US and the UK, these actions have seen the highest number of unlicensed music services disrupted as part of the Operation 404 campaign.
“We thank and commend all the authorities and agencies involved in carrying out these actions for their ongoing collaboration and support in protecting music creators’ content.”
“These services are profiting from music whilst putting in jeopardy the growth of Brazil’s vibrant and diverse music ecosystem.”
Paulo Rosa, Pro-Música Brasil
Paulo Rosa, Director, Pro-Música Brasil, added: “This operation has had a particular impact on the growing problem of unlicensed music apps – sending a clear message to all operators of such services that they must cease their activities.
“These services are profiting from music whilst putting in jeopardy the growth of Brazil’s vibrant and diverse music ecosystem.
“We continue to support action against this, wherever necessary.”
According to IFPI’s Global Music Report 2022, the Latin America region saw growth of 31.2% in 2021. This was one of the highest growth rates globally.
Streaming accounted for 85.9% of the market, one of the highest proportions in any region.
Brazil specifically is a major music market for Spotify which, according to the IFPI, was the world’s 11th biggest territory in 2021.
According to local recorded music trade body, Pro-Música Brasil, the Brazilian market’s annual subscription streaming revenue increased by 28% YoY in 2021, to BRL 1.084 billion (around $219m).
Overall streaming revenue (included ad-funded and video) was up by 39% YoY.
In terms of sales and streaming combined (i.e. not counting performance royalties or sync, but counting CD, vinyl, download etc.), streaming formats generated 99% of Brazil’s recorded music revenues in 2021.
Spotify raised its prices in Brazil in early 2021, where between April 24, 2021 and June 11 2021, the price of an individual Spotify Premium plan in the country rose by a near-18%.Music Business Worldwide