CISAC reports digital music royalty collections up 52%

CISAC reports digital music royalty collections up 52%

The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) has revealed global royalty collections have hit a record high of €9.2 billion (£8.25 billion), an increase of 6% on the previous year.

The figures, which cover collections in 2016, show revenues for the music sector collected on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers up by 6.8% to €8 billion (£7.2 billion), boosted by a 52% increase in digital revenues. At €945m (£846m), though, digital still only accounts for 11.8% of music income.

TV and radio broadcast take the largest collections share with 42.5% of global music revenue, followed by live and background uses (31.5%). In Europe, the strength of the concert business and pressure on rates from broadcasters meant that live and background collections have actually overtaken TV and radio for the first time.

Digging into the report reveals that collections for creators in the UK per head are €10.90 (£9.78), on a par with Germany but lagging behind France on €16.60 (£14.87).

The UK is the fifth biggest music market in terms of collections, behind the US, France, Germany and Japan. UK music revenues were actually down year-on-year to €653 million (£585m), a fall of 0.6%. But currency fluctuations are to blame – UK collections were up 12% in sterling.

Germany, the third largest market, was responsible for a big increase of 16.4% in music collections because of a retroactive settlement with YouTube and back payments of private copying levies.

CISAC also collects royalties for audiovisual, literature, visual arts and drama. Overall revenues from digital uses of all repertoire have nearly tripled since 2012, and increased by 51.4% in 2016 to just under €1 billion (£896m), the sharpest growth rate in the last five years. CISAC said that increase was largely driven by streaming subscription services.

Overall global collections have risen for three years in a row and are up 18% from 2012.

CISAC director general Gadi Oron said: “This year’s report shows the system of collective management of creators’ rights is robust, successful and ready for more growth. The big traditional revenue streams, led by broadcast and live performance, remain stable and strong. Digital royalties continue to surge and in some markets already overtake other forms of income. The figures we’re releasing today reflect our societies’ relentless effort to be more efficient and innovative, and drive income growth.”

Expressing the music industry’s concern about the value gap, Oron raised the need for legislative reforms to correct the “unacceptable market imbalance” which means authors are not fully sharing in the “digital boom”.

Ahead of an EU copyright reform package set to be enacted in 2018, Jean-Michel Jarre, CISAC president, also called for governments to act.

“This is a vast sector of cultural and economic activity, worth an amazing nine billion euros worldwide,” he said. “Despite its growth, however, collections are nowhere near the level they should be. Large industries that use creative content are driving down the value of our works. A simple illustration of this is the ‘transfer of value’ in the digital market where platforms such as YouTube are paying mere crumbs to authors. There is no greater priority that we ask from governments today than a solution to the transfer of value.”

The latest figures are released today in the CISAC Global Collections Report, which covers member authors’ societies in 123 territories. CISAC’s global network of 239 societies licences content and collects royalties on behalf of 4 million creators for the use of works on TV, radio, background, live, digital, private copying and other uses.

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