Morning business news - October 15

Monday 15 October 2012 10.38
Morning business news with Emma McNamara
Morning business news with Emma McNamara

ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING STRIKES A WRONG CHORD WITH IRISH MUSIC INDUSTRY - Sales in the Irish record industry fell from €161m in 2005 to €64m in 2011. A lot of the decrease is down to illegal downloading. Figures show that Ireland comes 21st in the world in terms of illegal downloading with 700,000 people downloading illegally at a rate of 20 songs every month.

Dick Doyle is the director general of IRMA - the group that lobbies on behalf of the music industry, and collects and compiles statistics. Mr Doyle says that the music sector has changed its offering very dramatically since 2000 and now offers lots of different business models, including pay for downloads, monthly subscriptions and streaming services. Illegal downloading is no different than stealing someone's property, he states bluntly. On a per capita basis, Ireland is actually the second worst offender for illegal downloads, coming only after Australia. Explaining that in previous times, 30% of the proceeds from music sales were reinvested back into the business, Mr Doyle predicts that no more big bands like U2 will emerge as the Irish music industry will have no money to back them. He says that in order to achieve sustainable success, bands need proper marketing and back up services.

***

MORNING BRIEFS - Reinsurer Munich Re's Automation Solutions division is setting up a R&D facility in Dublin. The division already employs 47 people here and the new project - which will see investment of over €8m - will lead to the creation of 17 new jobs. The new jobs will focus on techniques to more accurately assess underwriting risk across insurance classes.

*** European leaders meet this week as Greece works to justify renewed aid and Spain still holds out - for now - on tapping a bailout. The European Union's leaders convene for an October 18 and 19 summit in Brussels after a weekend in which international finance chiefs expressed some optimism that protection is in place to contain the euro's turmoil, and urged further action to end the main threat to global growth. The German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble yesterday ruled out a Greek exit, and the euro zone faces the challenge of harnessing positive sentiment by resolving differences on aid for Greece and Spain.

*** Dublin based SMBC Aviation Capital, the world's fourth biggest aircraft lessor, announced today that it plans to merge its shareholders' other aircraft leasing-related companies, SMFL Aircraft Capital Corporation and Sumisho Aircraft Asset Management, into its existing operations. This will result in the value of SMBC Aviation Capital's portfolio growing to over $10 billion, with the number of owned and managed aircraft increasing from 240 to 331. SMBC Aviation Capital used to be part of Royal Bank of Scotland.