ASCAP revenues up 7% in 2018, distributions over $1 billion

ASCAP revenues up 7% in 2018, distributions over $1 billion

ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has reported that revenues for 2018 topped $1.227 billion (£939m), an increase of 7% over 2017. 

ASCAP distributions crossed the $1bn mark for the second year in a row, with $1.109bn (£849m) in royalties paid out to its songwriter, composer and publisher members. Distributions increased by $102 million (£78.1m), up 10% year-over-year. 

PRS For Music revealed its 2018 results earlier this week.

At $906m (£693.3m), ASCAP domestic revenue from US music licensing was up 7% on the prior year. Audio streaming revenue was up by 25% and audio visual by 7% year-on-year. General and background revenue, which encompasses more than 800,000 bars, grills, hotels, retail stores, fitness centres and other businesses, grew by 9%.

ASCAP secured a total of $321m (£245.6m) in 2018 foreign revenue, an increase of 7% over the prior year. 

Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the US increased to $814m (£622.9m), up 12.5% over 2017. Foreign distributions totaled $295m (£225.7m), an increase of 4%.

The number of individual music performances processed by ASCAP’s proprietary data matching systems was into the trillions in 2018. ASCAP said the results show it is “one of the most efficient PROs in the world”, with its operating expense ratio decreasing for the second consecutive year. Almost 90% of collections go directly to members.

ASCAP’s outstanding 2018 results were driven by our team’s laser focus on making smart, strategic deals 

Elizabeth Matthews 

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said: “ASCAP’s outstanding 2018 results were driven by our team’s laser focus on making smart, strategic deals to yield growth and stability for our members. Four years into our six-year strategic plan, we are seeing healthy year-over-year compound annual revenue growth rates averaging 7%. In 2018 alone, our commitment to efficiency and innovation allowed us to pay more than $100 million more to our members in distributions than the prior year all while we continue to take the steps necessary to protect their future. Above all, we owe our success to the popularity of the ASCAP music repertory, which is beloved and enjoyed by listeners around the world on every platform.” 

ASCAP chairman of the board and president, Paul Williams, said: “ASCAP members know that they belong to an organization that is always in their corner, whether we are nurturing their early careers, closing important licensing deals with music users or fighting for their rights in Congress. 2018 was a year of great progress for songwriters and composers with the passage of the Music Modernisation Act. As we go forward, ASCAP will continue to put its resources toward securing every dollar earned by our members and advocating to ensure that they can have a sustainable livelihood. There is still more work to do to modernise music licensing laws and bring us closer to a free market and fair value for songwriters’ creative work.”

Artists who signed up to ASCAP in 2018 include Migos, Cardi B, Alicia Keys, Starrah, St. Vincent, Greg Kurstin, French Montana, Miguel, Calvin Harris, Gucci Mane.

Total ASCAP membership increased by approximately 46,000 in 2018 and currently stands at more than 700,000 songwriters, composers and publishers.

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