Music royalties dip but payments to members still strong

PRS for Music has reported a 1% fall in the collection of royalties for 2010 to £611.2m, but the royalty collection society have still managed to keep royalty payments to its members at almost the same rate as 2009.

The factors behind the dip included a fall in high street sales of recorded music, and difficulties capturing the full value of music use online.

However, the drop in royalty collections was in part offset by stronger international and radio royalty revenues. Royalties collected are distributed to creators when their music is played, performed or reproduced in the UK or abroad.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music, said: ‘The loss of high street outlets, the slowdown in physical music sales as well the challenges capturing the full value of music usage online has meant for the first time we have seen royalties collected dip.   Previously, any reduction from falling physical sales had been offset by our strong performance in music licensing both in the UK and internationally. In 2010 slower growth at home and abroad failed to fully mitigate the decline.

We predict future growth from the developing legal digital market, and from licensing the use of UK music abroad, especially in emerging markets. Collectively, the industry needs to work together to support the fledgling digital market in the UK ensuring legal choice for consumers and vital income for creators.’

Despite the £7m fall in royalty collection, PRS for Music have reduced  administration costs and improved efficiency to ensure that he amount paid to songwriter, composer and music publisher members only reduced by £0.8m.