Global music rights revenue collections reached €10.83 billion ($11.4 billion) in 2022, according to CISAC, the trade organization of collective management societies. That’s a new record that reflects growth of 28% over 2021, as live concert revenue continues to recover from the pandemic and digital income keeps growing.
Income from concerts — the royalties collected from the public performance of songs being played live — was up 185.7% based on a sample of 100 societies, since different organizations account for that revenue differently. And since these numbers are from 2022, when the concert business still hadn’t fully recovered, next year’s numbers will be better still.
The real change is in digital, though, which is now worth €4.08 billion ($4.3 billion), up 33.5% from 2021 and almost double its value from 2019. It now accounts for 37.7% of collections revenue — marking the first time it has been the biggest category — and is likely to be the main engine of growth for years to come. The TV and radio category, traditionally the largest source of revenue, is now No. 2 behind digital with €3.55 billion ($3.75 billion).
The CISAC Global Collections Report tracks money taken in by collective management organizations for authors’ rights — composers and publishers in the music business, plus audiovisual creators, writers and more. (Neighboring rights revenue for recordings is not included.) More than 90% of the money comes from song rights — specifically, the funds that flow through societies rather than through direct deals.
By any measure, the growth in the CISAC report is remarkable — a record both for the revenue collected and year-on-year growth. And while some of that reflects the unprecedented disappearance and return of the live business, digital growth has been, and will continue to be, steady.
“This is a remarkable return to growth as our whole sector fully recovers from the disastrous three-year pandemic,” said CISAC director general Gadi Oron in the announcement of the results. “While live and public performance have bounced back strongly, the recovery is driven most of all by digital which has now become creators’ largest source of income.”
Much of this growth reflects the changing role of collecting societies in the streaming era. Rather than just represent and license rights in the market in which they operate, societies also compete online. The biggest of the societies — PRS, SACEM and others — now license online rights from writers in most countries.
The growth is worldwide, too. All of the top ten music markets increased collections revenue, with an average growth rate of more than 25%. The biggest market is the United States with €2.616 billion ($2.759) and 30.5% growth; then France, with €1.325 billion ($1.398 billion) and more than 39% growth. Rounding out the top 10 are the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Australia, Canada, Spain and Korea.