The UK’s Performing Right Society (PRS) has announced it paid out more than half a billion pounds sterling in royalties to songwriters, composers and publishers ib 2016, in its strongest performance to date. The organisation, which represents the rights of over 125,500 music creators in the UK and two million worldwide, paid out £527.6m to its members last year, up 11.1% (£52.5m) on 2015.
It was also able to deliver more money to more creators than ever before, with 33% more members receiving a payment compared to 2015. The number of unique musical works and songs earning money also rose by 45% to 4.2 million. In turn, revenues collected by PRS increased by 10.1% (£57.2m) in 2016 to £621.5m.
Of the music licensing company’s four main revenue streams, international income generated from members’ music played abroad saw significant growth, with £233.7m received from equivalent societies overseas. This represents an increase of 5% (£11.2m) year-on-year. Revenue from music played via online platforms saw the largest uplift at 89.9% (£38.1m) to £80.5m, while public performance income grew 4.6% to £183.2m and broadcast revenues were stable at £124.1m(a decrease of 0.1% on 2015).
In 2016, over 4.3 trillion uses of music were reported to the organisation from across the globe. This figure was just 126 billion in 2012, with growth illustrating the remarkable explosion in streaming and the success and popularity of PRS members’ repertoire internationally.
Germany’s GEMA also concluded its 2016 financial year on a positive note: For the first time, the collective management organisation for music rights reported collections of more than a billion Euros (EUR 1,024.4m) on behalf of its 70,000 members and the rights owners represented by GEMA across the World.
One of the factors contributing to this positive earnings development was the settlement with YouTube. The fees, determined as part of a new licence agreement, entered into November 2016, were retroactively incorporated into the annual accounts for the period 2009-2016. Intensive growth in the usage of streaming services also had a positive effect on the income – albeit download exploitation declined: A total of EUR 81.6m was yielded in terms of online music usage – resulting in a doubling of figures compared to the previous year (2015: EUR 40.4m). In addition, the agreement by the Zentralstelle für private Vervielfältigungsrechte (Central Collection Agency for private copying rights, ZPÜ) with the associations of the hardware industry for smartphone and tablet products had a positive effect due to the fact that a share of the resulting income is allocated to GEMA: Its income from remuneration claims substantially increased to EUR 97.9m (previous year: EUR 16.3m).
Stable growth of further collection areas have also played their part: Turnover trends from Regional Offices (EUR 370.1m, previous year EUR 365.5m), Radio and TV (EUR 286.2m, previous year 280.6m) as well as International Royalty Income (EUR 73.5m, previous year EUR 71.3m) more than equalised the slight decline in Sound Recordings (EUR 104.9m, previous year: EUR 110.3m).
The increase in GEMA’s income increase also coincided with a reduction of the total cost rate to 15.4 % (2015: 16.3%) and the operating cost rate of 12.6% (2015: 13.2%),