ASCAP has reported record-breaking results for the fifth year in a row.
The US collection society’s revenues hit $1.274 billion (£1.024bn) in 2019, a $47 million (£38m) increase over 2018.
Royalty distributions to ASCAP members also reached a record high in 2019 and increased by $75m (£60m), crossing the $1bn (£800m) for a third year with $1.184bn (£952m) in royalties paid out to ASCAP songwriter, composer and publisher members.
Domestic revenue collected by ASCAP in 2019 was $945m (£750m), up $39m (£31m) over the prior year, driven in part by an increase in audio streaming which increased 16%.
Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the US totaled $869m (£699m), up $55m (£44m) over last year.
Foreign revenue increased to $329m (£264m) and foreign distributions were $315m (£253m), up by nearly $20m (£16m) over 2018.
“We are pleased to report ASCAP’s strong financial results for 2019, but we know that our members are concerned about the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis on their royalties in 2020 and beyond,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. “Fortunately, ASCAP closed a record number of multi-year licensing deals in 2019 and instituted immediate operational changes and expense cuts in early March 2020. As a result of these efforts, while collection efforts are increasingly challenging, our first quarter 2020 royalty distributions have proven to be among our highest ever. Hopefully, this distribution will provide a cushion to members to help weather the storm of Covic-19.”
“Music remains essential to our culture and to humanity. We see it in good times as evidenced by the achievements of our members and ASCAP in 2019, and we see it now, when music creators show their generosity and compassion, even as they struggle with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on their own lives and livelihoods,” said ASCAP chairman of the board and president Paul Williams. “We are proud of ASCAP’s strong 2019 financial results, but our focus now is on the future, and fighting for our members. The ASCAP team is working tirelessly on behalf of our members to navigate through this crisis and protect their livelihoods, even in these challenging times. I am grateful to stand together with so many talented and dedicated members of the ASCAP family, at a time when we need each other more than ever.”