Net costs for collecting royalties reduced 6.7% year-on-year to £87.5m, and after charitable donations of £3.2m, resulted in distributable revenue to members of £721.1m. During the 12 months to 31 December 2019, a record £686m was processed and paid out, an increase of 13.7% on 2018.
International royalty income continues to be the largest revenue stream for PRS for Music members, underlining the enduring popularity of British music overseas. £278.7m was collected through reciprocal agreements with societies around the world, a slight decrease of 1.1% (£3.2m) on 2018, but 33.6% growth over a five year period. Global chart successes and major live world tours from PRS members including Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Florence + the Machine, Phil Collins, and The Rolling Stones contributed to this growth.
Royalties generated from online platforms, including downloads, online video games, and traditional streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music,saw the most significantuplift at 24.2% (£34.9m) to £179.1m, with UK songwriters contributing to many of the biggest streamed hits like 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, the society also played a significant role in securing fundamental reform of copyright law in Europe, including Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive which requires user-upload platforms to pay for the use of music. UK Government has no plans to adopt the copyright law at this time, but PRS for Music continues to press for a copyright regime that 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 £130.8m, up 2.4% on 2018, despite a decline in linear TV viewing and the rise in popularity of video-on-demand.
PRS for Music processed a record number of performances – 18.8tn
Live performances in the UK represent second-biggest are of revenue growth
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% (£30.2m) on 2018 to £222.2m, 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 through the purchase of the TheMusicLicence.
It was a good year for the live music sector, with royalties from live performances climbing 38.8% to £54m in 2019. A rise in music festivals taking place across the UK, such as TRNSMT, Parklife, British Summer Time, Boomtown and the return of Glastonbury, contributed to this result. High-selling UK concerts from PRS members Spice Girls and Take That and UK tours from Ariana Grande, BTS, Drake, Michael Bublé, and P!nk, where PRS members’ repertoire prominently featured, also contributed.