HomeInsightsPRS for Music pays out record amount of royalties for 2016

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PRS for Music achieved record financial results in 2016. Royalties paid out to its members (songwriters, composers and music publishers) for the public use of their musical works exceeded half a billion pounds for the first time in UK music history, reaching an all-time high of £527.6 million, up 11.1% (£52.5 million) year-on-year.

PRS delivered more money to more music creators than ever before; 33% more members received a payment compared to 2015, while the number of unique musical works and songs earning money also rose by 45% to 4.2 million.

In turn, revenues collected by PRS saw an increase of 10.1% (£57.2 million) in 2016 to £621.5 million.

Of the music licensing company’s four main revenue streams, international income generated from members’ music played abroad saw significant growth, with £233.7 million received from equivalent societies overseas. This represents an increase of 5% (£11.2 million) year-on-year. Revenue from music played via online platforms saw the largest uplift at 89.9% (£38.1 million) to £80.5 million, while public performance income grew 4.6% to £183.2 million and broadcast revenues were stable.

In 2016, over 4.3 trillion uses of music were reported to the organisation from across the globe. This figure was only 126 billion in 2012. PRS says that the astonishing increase shows the remarkable growth in streaming and success and popularity of PRS members’ repertoire internationally.

Previous investments in new technology have enabled PRS to meet the demands of the digital era and continuing growth of the online market. Improvements in the organisation’s processing capabilities, handling vast volumes of data, have in turn enabled faster and more efficient payments of online royalties. Collaborative ventures such as ICE, PRS’ pan-European partnership with affiliate societies GEMA (Germany) and STIM (Sweden), also helped to drive online revenue from digital platforms.

Robert Ashcroft, CEO, PRS for Music, said: “… Despite the growth in revenues, there remain some very real challenges in the online market and we welcome the European Commission’s proposed clarification of copyright law to ensure the value of creators’ work is better protected online. These are critical to the development of a healthy and sustainable online market for music. We hope the European Parliament and Council, including our own government, support its recommendations.” To read PRS for Music’s press release in full, click here.