After two years of a pandemic and temporary closures of concerts and many shops and restaurants devastated by the CMOs that license public performance rights to songwriters and publishers, some of these CMOs are reporting record financial results. In April, the German Society GEMA and the UK’s PRS both raised and distributed their highest ever amounts. And on June 21, French collective management association SACEM announced that it had raised 1.41 billion euros ($1.54 billion) in 2022, up 34% from 2021, and distributed 1.06 billion euros ($1.15 billion) — up 19% from the previous year. . Both numbers represent new heights – both for SACEM and at least for European communities.
“Thanks to the resumption of concerts, the spread of digital technology, new agreements signed with several SACEM Group users, and the strategic shift made in its transformation plan, SACEM achieved a record year in terms of collections and distributed royalties,” CEO Céclile Rap-Veber said in a statement. Organization announcement. “These results prove, once again, our ability to adapt and strengthen our expertise in a highly competitive and rapidly changing sector.”
For SACEM, as for all CMOs, some of the increase in revenue and distributions comes from the return of live concerts, which are an important source of royalty revenue. But the success also reflects the growth of broadcasting, as well as the ability of CMOs to negotiate better prices for installations that are being licensed. It’s also important to note that SACEM’s findings won’t just affect French composers and publishers: CMOs now compete to represent rights holders for online use in most countries, except the US, and SACEM licenses the works of composers worldwide, as well as the Universal Music Publishing Group repertory.
SACEM, the oldest music collecting society, sets the pace for its competitors. Its collections of 1.41 billion euros ($1.54 billion) are higher than those raised by GEMA, which in 2022 acquired 1.18 billion euros ($1.25 billion), and PRS, which had revenues of 836.2 million pounds ($1.04 billion).
However, direct comparisons are imprecise, since all CMOs use different accounting procedures. (The two largest marketing organizations in the United States, ASCAP and BMI, are also constrained in their negotiations by antitrust approval ordinances.) For example, SACEM counts the money it raised and distributed in 2022, but because it takes time to distribute the money, it may pay the tracks a bit. This means that dividends will rise in the early part of next year. “In 2023, taking into account collections in the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, we expect to reach a new record for distribution,” SACEM said in its announcement.
SACEM has also reduced its expenses. The ratio of operating expenses to groups was down at 11.65%, down 3.15 points from 2021. As competition heats up among CMOs – especially between SACEM and the ICE center run by GEMA and PRS and the Swedish STIM community – all societies are trying to cut costs.
In 2022, for the second year in a row, the Internet was the largest source of royalties – up 38% to €493m ($538.27m). Television and radio was the second largest category of revenue, at €353.1 million ($385.56 million), an increase of 19%. General royalties contributed €327 million ($357.06) – up 93% in part due to the return of the live music business.
The financial results include only SACEM’s core operations to collect public performances and mechanical royalties for composers and music publishers, both in France and for online uses in most countries around the world. It does not include SACEM’s related rights revenue from television and radio playback of sound recordings, or subsidiaries such as the company that operates it to license related rights to newspapers and periodicals when its business is used by online companies such as Google and Facebook.