HomeInsightsPRS for Music says songwriters and composers generated a record £746 million in music royalties in 2018

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PRS for Music reports that it collected a record £746 million on behalf of its members in 2018. This represents a year-on-year increase of 4.4%, or £31.6 million, which after costs and other income results in net distributable revenue of £648.4 million.

International royalty income continues to be the largest revenue stream for PRS for Music members. A total of £280.6 million was collected through agreements with collecting societies around the world, an increase of 9.1% (£23.4 million) on 2017, and a 43% growth rate over the last three years. Global chart successes and major live world tours from PRS members including Ed Sheeran, Roger Waters, U2 and The Rolling Stones contributed to this growth.

Music fans continue to switch to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, with UK songwriters and composers providing many of the biggest hits on these platforms. Royalty income from digital services climbed 17% (£21.2 million) to £145.7 million.

In 2018 Mixcloud, Facebook and Instagram were licensed for the first time, providing additional digital revenue for PRS members.

Income from broadcasters including the BBC, Sky and Global Radio, totalled £127.7 million, down 5.1% on 2017. The decrease was a combination of a reduction in linear TV viewing and the effect of a large one-off payment from ITV in 2017.

Royalty income from general business usage was also slightly down on 2017 at £192 million. PRS says that a challenging situation on the UK high street and delays in the establishment of a new licensing business with PPL contributed to the figures. The live sector experienced 12.8% growth, climbing to £38.9 million in 2018 as the industry continues to grow, with UK music fans increasingly seeking the live experience.

In 2018 a total of £603.6 million was distributed to songwriter, composer and music publisher members, a decrease of 0.2% on 2017. PRS says that this slight reduction was caused by processing delays at its joint venture partners, but still represents the second largest distribution in PRS’s history. To read the PRS press release in full, click here.