UK music licensing company PRS for Music collected a record £746 million in 2018.
This represents a 4.4% increase year-on-year, or £31.6 million on a constant currency basis, and after costs and other income, results in net distributable revenue of £648.4 million.
The organization distributed a total of £603.6 million to its songwriter, composer and music publisher members. This was the second largest distribution in PRS for Music’s history. £603.6 million was actually a decrease of 0.2% from 2017.
Royalties from digital services grew by 17% to £145.7 million (on a constant currency basis).
Overall costs in 2018 grew by 8.5%, topping £97 million, which PRS says was due to “investment and transition costs” related to the launch of the PPL PRS Ltd joint venture.
International royalty income continues to be the largest revenue stream for PRS for Music members, with a total of £280.6 million collected through agreements with collecting societies from 81 countries, an increase of 9.1% (£23.4 million) on 2017, and a 43% growth rate over the last three years.
TV royalties fell 9.3% to £76.9 million, while PRS Radio royalties increased by 2% to top £50.8 million, due to commercial radio growth.
Also slightly down on 2017, at £192 million, was royalty income from general business usage, including shops (down 9.3%) and pubs (down 9.8%), which PRS attributes to pressure on the pub sector and UK High-Street.
Two areas of growth for public performance royalties, however, were the live sector and cinemas.
The live music business experienced 12.8% growth, climbing to £38.9 million in 2018, while cinemas saw a year-on-year growth of 12.9% to top £9.6 million by the end of the year.
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.