PRS for Music publishes its royalty collection figures for 2019

PRS for Music collected a record £810.8 million on behalf of its members in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 8.7% (£65.0 million).

Net costs for collecting royalties reduced 6.7% year-on-year to £87.5 million, and after charitable donations of £3.2 million, resulted in distributable revenue to members of £721.1 million. During the 12 months to 31 December 2019, a record £686 million was processed and paid out, an increase of 13.7% on 2018.

International royalty income continues to be the largest revenue stream for PRS members. £278.7 million was collected through reciprocal agreements with societies around the world, a slight decrease of 1.1% (£3.2 million) on 2018, but 33.6% growth over a five-year period.

Royalties generated from online platforms, including downloads, online video games, and traditional streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music saw the most significant uplift at 24.2% (£34.9 million) to £179.1 million, with UK songwriters contributing to many of the biggest streamed hits, such as Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi and Old Town Road by Lil Nas X, the two highest performing songs in the official UK charts last year.

In 2018, PRS for Music licensed Mixcloud, Facebook and Instagram, seeing royalties flow through to music creators for the first time in 2019. Last year, PRS for Music says that it played a significant role” in securing fundamental reform of copyright law in Europe, including Article 17 of the Copyright Directive which requires user upload platforms to pay for the use of music. PRS for Music notes that the UK Government has no plans to adopt the copyright law at this time, but the collecting organisation says that it “continues to press for a copyright regime which better reflects the online market in the UK, EU and around the world”.

Music used across video-on-demand offerings including Netflix and Amazon Prime also contributed to the notable uplift in online revenue. Income from broadcasters including the BBC and ITV, totalled £130.8 million, 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% (£30.2 million) on 2018 to £222.2 million, PRS for Music’s second biggest area of revenue growth. 2019 was the first full year of operation for the organisation’s joint venture with PPL, offering hundreds of thousands of businesses the ability to clear all the rights required (both label and publishing) through the purchase of the TheMusicLicence.

Royalties from live performances climbed 38.8% to £54 million in 2019. A rise in music festivals taking place across the UK contributed to this result.

Overall, PRS for Music both in-house and through its joint venture partners processed 18.8 trillion “performances” of music last year, including music streamed, downloaded, broadcast on TV and radio, played in business premises, and played live around the globe. This is a 67.8% increase on 2018, with further, dramatic growth predicted in the future. To read PRS for Music’s press release in full, click here.