British collection society PRS for Music collected a record £810.8m (approximately $990m) on behalf of its 145,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 8.7% or £65m ($79) .
According to PRS, its net costs for collecting royalties reduced by 6.7% YoY to £87.5m ($107m), and after charitable donations of £3.2m ($4m), resulted in distributable revenue to members of £721.1m ($877m).
During the 12 months to December 31, 2019, PRS reports that a record £686m ($834) was processed and paid out, an increase of 13.7% on 2018.
In spite of the record results, PRS for Music CEO Andrea C. Martin warned that “we will inevitably see a decline in future royalties in 2020 and into 2021” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Said Martin: “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.”
Elsewhere, International royalty income was the largest revenue stream for PRS for Music members in 2019, with £278.7m ($339m) collected through reciprocal agreements with societies around the world, a decrease of 1.1% on 2018, but 33.6% growth over a five year period.
Royalties generated from online platforms, including downloads, online video games, and streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music saw the most significant uplift, of £34.9m ($42m), or 24.2% to £179.1m ($218m).
Income from broadcasters including the BBC and ITV, totalled £130.8m ($160m), up 2.4% on 2018, despite a decline in linear TV viewing and the rise in popularity of video-on-demand.
Live performances of music in the UK and music used in UK business premises (collectively known as Public Performance) saw an increase of 15.7%, or £30.2m ($36m) on 2018 to £222.2m ($270m), PRS for Music’s second biggest area of revenue growth.
Meanwhile, royalties from live performances climbed 38.8% to £54m ($66m) in 2019.
Andrea C. Martin, PRS for Music
Andrea C. Martin, CEO, PRS for Music, said: “It is testament to the creative talent of our 145,500 members that royalty revenues from their music have continued to grow. The UK is a centre of creative excellence and this is something we should all be proud of and work to protect and promote.
“The way we consume music continues to change and PRS has made considerable investments over the last decade to ensure we’re well placed to capture future growth. Key for the industry is that all levels of the creative community can benefit from this growth.
“We are now focusing our efforts on future income and distributions. 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.
Added Martin: “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.
“We expect the most significant impact will be on our public performance business and the royalties we collect 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.”
Pictured: British singer-songwriter MabelMusic Business Worldwide