CISAC: global music royalty collections surge 28%, digital tops income stream

In 2022, the global music landscape witnessed a historic milestone, with songwriters and composers celebrating a record-breaking year in royalty collections. According to the annual report from CISAC, the global organization representing creators, these collections surged to a remarkable €10.8 billion.

What makes this achievement even more noteworthy is the substantial year-on-year increase of 28%, marking the largest rise on record. This also marked the first time that music income has exceeded the €10 billion mark. The year ended with collections standing at 21.4% above the levels of 2019.

The surge in these collections can be primarily attributed to the exponential growth of streaming platforms, making digital the predominant income stream for the first time. This shift underscores the profound impact of the digital realm on the music industry.

Remarkably, all of the world’s ten largest music markets experienced growth in 2022, with an average growth rate exceeding 25%. Only Italy and Japan remained below their pre-pandemic levels, with declines of -5.8% and -4.1%, respectively.

Of particular note was the dynamic resurgence of Latin America and the Caribbean, which saw collections grow by an impressive 64.9% after three years of Covid-driven decline.

CISAC’s Director General, Gadi Oron, highlighted this resurgence, stating, “This is a remarkable return to growth as our whole sector fully recovers from the disastrous three-year pandemic. While live and public performances have bounced back strongly, the recovery is driven most of all by digital, which has now become creators’ largest source of income. Streaming and subscription services have not just revived the status quo; they have transformed the market, changed the game for creators, and paved the way for future growth.”

In his foreword to the report, CISAC President Björn Ulvaeus stressed the resilience of the collective management system, despite the challenges posed by the digital era. He emphasized that Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) are delivering more money to creators than ever before. Ulvaeus also urged the industry to prepare for the significant changes that artificial intelligence will bring, calling for international leadership and unity among all segments of the creative industry.

The UK also made significant strides in 2022, with figures from PRS For Music indicating strong growth. The UK aspires to reach annual collections of £1 billion in the years ahead, a goal that is well within reach as collections have already surpassed one billion euros, positioning the UK at the third spot globally, behind the US and France. This growth allowed the UK to leapfrog Japan, where collections grew by a more modest 3.6%.

The remarkable results of 2022 can be attributed to sustained growth in digital revenues, a resurgence of live and public performance income post-Covid, and a resilient broadcast sector.

Taking a closer look at each income stream tracked by CISAC:

Digital Income: For the first time, digital income surpassed broadcast, constituting 37.7% of total collections globally. The growth was primarily driven by the USA, with collections increasing by 44.7% year-on-year. Other top collecting countries, including France, the UK, and Germany, also experienced significant growth.

India, too, made a noteworthy mark, ranking as one of the ‘digital music champions,’ with a 67.1% share of total songwriting royalty collections. This places India among the top countries for digital music income, alongside major markets like Mexico, Australasia, Sweden, and Canada.

Live & Background Music Income: Despite a strong recovery with a 68.2% increase in 2022, this income stream remained 7.7% below pre-pandemic levels. The UK’s live and background collections saw remarkable growth, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, driven by over 128,000 live music events reported to PRS For Music during the year. This was a standout achievement in Europe, with only a few other countries achieving the same feat.

Broadcast Income: Royalties from TV and radio remained resilient, growing by 11.4% in 2022. India, in particular, witnessed significant growth following new licensing deals, contributing to the global increase. Private copying, although in decline by 8.7% in 2022, continued to be a significant income source for creators in some territories, totaling €248 million.

As the music industry embraces the digital era and grapples with the challenges and opportunities it presents, the 2022 report serves as a testament to the global music community’s resilience and adaptability. While the record-breaking collections are a cause for celebration, it also highlights the need to address disparities and imbalances in the industry, advocating for creators’ rights and maintaining a united front in the face of changing technological landscapes.

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