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RECORD REVENUES AT PRS FOR MUSIC

British PRO PRS for Music collected a record £810.8m on behalf of its members in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 8.7% (£65m). Royalties generated from online platforms saw the most significant uplift at 24.2% (£34.9m) to £179.1m.

PRS, which represents the rights of more than 145,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the U.K. and worldwide, said its net costs for collecting royalties reduced 6.7% year-on-year to £87.5m. After charitable donations of £3.2m, distributable revenue to members was £721.1m. During the 12 months to December 2019, a record £686m was processed and paid out—an increase of 13.7% on 2018.

PRS for Music CEO Andrea C. Martin celebrated the results as “testament to the creative talent” of its members, but warned that 2020’s figures may not be so sunny.

“While our 2019 financial results are record-breaking, we are all too aware that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the music industry and its community faces unprecedented times ahead,” she said. “With TV and film productions on hold, closure of businesses, public premises, and the cancellation of festivals, concerts and other live music events, we will inevitably see a decline in future royalties in 2020 and into 2021.”

Martin predicted that the most significant impact will be on public performance and royalties collected internationally, “but at this stage the exact financial impact, and how this will affect individual members, is extremely difficult to fully predict.”

“We are closely monitoring the situation from every angle possible and taking proactive steps to safeguard royalties and mitigate risk throughout this period of significant disruption.”

International royalty income continues to be the largest revenue stream for PRS members with £278.7m collected last year through reciprocal agreements with societies around the world—a slight decrease of 1.1% (£3.2m) on 2018.

Live performances of music in the U.K. and music used in U.K. business premises saw an increase of 15.7% (£30.2m) on 2018 to £222.2m, accounting for the second biggest area of revenue growth. Royalties from live performances climbed 38.8% to £54m thanks to a rise in music festivals and high-selling U.K. concerts and tours.

PRS for Music—both in-house and through its joint venture partners—processed 18.8 trillion “performances” of music last year. This is a 67.8% increase on 2018, with further, dramatic growth predicted in the future.

 

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