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PRS TRUMPETS RECORD YEAR

British PRO PRS for Music collected a record £746m ($963.2m) in royalties last year for its 140k songwriter, composer and publisher members. That’s up 4.4% (£31.6m, or $40.8m) on 2017, thanks to a 17% increase in income from digital services and a 9.1% rise in international revenue.

After costs, PRS paid out £603.6m, which is down by 2% from 2017’s £605.1m ($781.2). The decrease was caused by “processing delays at joint venture partners,” according to PRS. Still, the sum was its second-largest distribution in history.

International royalty income was the largest revenue stream for British creators last year, counting for 38% of overall collections at £280.6m ($362.3m). Europe, Middle-East and Africa represented 62% of that, followed by North America (23%), Asia Pacific (10%) and Latin America (4%).

Digital-royalty revenue stood at £145.7m ($188.1m), which is up 17% on 2017 on a constant currency basis. That rise is thanks to a 22.4% increase in revenues from streaming, which at £126.9m ($163.9m) take an 87% share of the digital pie. Royalties from downloads dipped 46.3% to £2.9m, video-on-demand dropped 13% to £12m (due to prior period settlements), and gaming, which included a retrospective payment from prior years, stood at £3.9m.

Royalties from public performance stood at £192m ($247.9m), down 3.1% from £198.1m in 2017, due to teething pains for the new public-performance licensing JV launched with PPL, which had its first year of operation in 2018, as well as a tough year for British retailers. The dip was despite a 12.8% increase in royalty income from live performances, which reached £38.9m ($50.2m) last year.

Income from broadcasters including the BBC, Sky and Global Radio, totaled £127.7m ($164.9), down 5.1% on 2017, as linear TV viewing continues to decline, and popularity of view-on-demand programs rises.

Overall, PRS for Music—both in-house and through its joint venture partners—processed 11.2 trillion ‘performances’ of music last year, including music played in business premises, streams, downloads, radio and TV broadcasts, and live music played across the globe. That’s a 70% increase on 2017, with further, dramatic growth predicted in the future.

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