India’s IPRS becomes fifth largest APAC royalty collecting society

India’s premier royalty collecting organisation, The Indian Performing Right Society Ltd. (IPRS) has moved up a place to become the 5th largest royalty collecting society by revenues in the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement was made by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) which released its latest Global Collections Report for 2022 (based on 2021 collections data). The institute is the apex body of 228 Authors’ Societies in 119 countries representing more than 4 million creators. 

Mentioning the markets that experienced double-digit growth in 2021, India ranked 28th amongst the top 50 societies in collections from music globally, growing 73.8%.

The IPRS created a new benchmark by distributing royalties amounting to Rs. 2,100 million in 2021, an increase of 15% from the previous year. The organisation also reported an increase in income by 77.6%, over two years, driven by the rapid growth of streaming. The Society witnessed a growth of 301.9% in digital income during the period 2019-2021, ranking the second highest in the territory. 

However the encouraging digital growth also reflect a deep rooted issue. About 82% of the IPRS collections are from digital. The IPRS continues to face licensing challenges, with multiple users, including homegrown OTT players, major broadcasters, and radio stations, that refuse to pay for the use of music.

Moreover, insufficient data provided by the Indian broadcast industry triggers inefficiencies blocking the collection and eventually the distribution of royalties. As the need of the hour, all relevant stakeholders, the industry, and the Government must intervene to ensure proper enforcement of the law and uphold the rights of music creators and the rightful owners of the music. 

Javed Akhtar, Chairman, IPRS said, “As IPRS, we’ve not only managed to absorb the hard knocks of the pandemic but have also provided financial succour to many of our beleaguered members with a jump of 82% in revenue. It was possible due to our ability to do the needful in the time of calamity, and our team at IPRS led by our CEO, Rakesh Nigam, deserves special mention for this.”

CISAC President Björn Ulvaeus commented, “Digital royalties collected by CISAC societies are growing impressively, but the streaming world is still unfinished business when it comes to ensuring a fair environment to earn a living. Too much of the data needed to identify and remunerate creators is incomplete or missing when works are ingested on streaming services. The result is a lot of money that is left on the table when it should be going into creators’ pockets.”

CISAC Director General, Gadi Oron added, “After the 10% fall experienced in 2020, our societies’ return to growth last year is an impressive achievement. Bearing in mind that income from live concerts and public venues was largely non-existent, the acceleration of digital licensing by many of our members to offset the decline in other areas is a real success story. The recovery is only half done, though. There is, without a doubt, much more room for growth, and to achieve that, we need to bring more value to creative works in the digital market and promote a fairer ecosystem for creators.”

Rakesh Nigam, CEO of IPRS added, “I am happy with the strides the IPRS has taken over the past couple of years.  In 2021, the IPRS began distributing royalty monthly and has recorded its highest single-year royalty payout amounting to Rs.2,100 million (US$28 million). The IPRS intends to increase the total amount collected each year through music licensing and support songwriters, composers, and publishers in receiving just compensation for their enormous contributions to the music of the land. However, compliance with music copyright continues to be a major challenge for CMOs like IPRS. Although our efforts to build a more compliant music ecosystem continue, we invite support from all relevant stakeholders and industry bodies to help pave the path towards a flourishing future for music and those behind it.”

Globally speaking

According to the CISAC report, global collections for the year 2021 are at EUR 9.6 billion, with EUR 3.6 billion from broadcast, 1.6. billion from live performances and EUR 3.1 billion from digital. Royalties earned by music creators and publishers grew by +7.2% to EUR 8.4 8 billion in 2021, reversing the previous year’s -11.5% decline. By far the largest source of growth was from digital, which for the first time exceeded EUR 3 billion globally.  Although that total royalties haul represented a 7.2% rise versus 2020, it remained below pre-COVID levels.

CISAC attributed the slow recovery to the continued slump in live and public performance income in 2021, as well as a slight decline in broadcast. “The result illuminates the disastrous impact of the two-year lockdown on live and public performance income, the potential for further digital growth and the urgent need for actions to unlock more value for creators in the streaming market.” CISAC said.

Read the full report here

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