Online Music Royalties Doubled In ’07, But Still Tiny Compared To Radio


For the first time, songwriters and publishers have made more from broadcasts and legal downloads of their music in 2007 than from the copyright from CD sales, reports – but royalties from the growing gamut of online music services is still miniscule in comparison.

The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Rights Society, making up the main body collecting rights on behalf of UK performers and publishers, said its income from broadcasting and online sources increase seven percent to £155.5 million while copyright holders’ income from CD sales decreased 11 percent from to £151.8 million. Although online rights income increased by 54 percent in 2007, it accounted for only £9.7 million, a fraction of the value estimated to be lost by illegal downloading. The numbers reflect the continuing collapse of the CD market and solidify the notion that the music industry will need to accept that recorded music sales will soon become auxiliary revenue.

MCPS-PRS’ overall income grew 2.8 percent from £546.8 million to £562.1 million. CEO Steve Porter told FT, “Because we have also made our collection costs more efficient, then for the first time we have been able to distribute more than £500,000 to our 50,000 members. For us, the important thing is to be able to collect in new ways and new places to make up for the obvious decline in revenues from CD sales.”

One of these ways includes seeking greater growth both in international usage and legal online music services such as iTunes. Porter reported a 10 percent increase in international collections generated mainly in central and eastern Europe, with hopes to someday attain revenues from a broadcast music industry China. He expects similar results for 2008, broadcast and online growth expected to approach double-digits again while revenues from CDs is predicted to fall by 17 to 18 percent.

Other numbers include:

— 20 percent increase to £17.5m in rights collected from businesses staging live events.
— Money from pubs and clubs increased by 4.1 percent to £40.4m.
— Total public performance revenues were up almost 10 percent at £133.6m.
— Broadcast revenues saw a 10.4 percent increase to £89.9m.
— Radio income, which is calculated as a proportion of advertising revenue, saw flat income of £49.5m with expectations from Porter that it will grow in 2008.

PPL, the UK broadcast royalties collection society, said earlier this month that it would step up a campaign to increase fees from businesses for their use of music, as new figures showed a 15 percent rise in global performance rights.

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