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UK songwriter online royalties top £51m 

3 April 2013

PRS for Music announces £641.8m collected in 2012

PRS for Music today reported a record £641.8m collected in royalties for songwriters, composers and music publishers in the 2012 fiscal year, a 1.7% increase on 2011.

Expansion in the online market, especially streaming services, netted £51.7m in music royalties.  This is the highest figure to date and up 32.2% on 2011’s £38.5m. Over the last five years average annual growth for online has been 27%.  New licensing deals with Google Play, Vevo and Microsoft Xbox and the renewal of existing agreements means UK creators now receive 8% of their royalty income from online music services. 

The organisation collects royalties for over 95,000 members and licenses in excess of 350,000 UK businesses including 300 radio stations and 450 television channels. Royalties from broadcasters in 2012 rose by 3.1% to £153m representing almost 24% of overall income for music creators.

International revenues suffered a decline of 4.1% due to significant exchange rate losses, specifically because of the Euro and a challenging economic climate in many countries. Despite these challenges, international royalty revenue provided UK music creators with their single largest source of income at £180.1m. 2012 was a year when UK songwriters continued to dominate internationally with Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris enjoying global chart success and other prominent writers seeing their music accompany television and film content worldwide. 

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive commented: "Copyright remains fundamental to the continued success of our members both at home and abroad, while the ever-increasing importance of licensed online services such as iTunes and Spotify underlines the value of music to the internet economy”.

Royalty revenue collected, costs and distributions to members

 £ Million 2011 2012 %
Revenue - royalties 630.8 641.8 1.7%
Interest and other income 4.5 4.6 2.2%
Total revenue 635.3 646.4 1.7%
Costs 76.5 72.6 -5.1%
Charitable donations 1.5 1.5 -
Net Distributable Revenue 557.3 572.3 2.7%


Royalty revenue collected by source

 £ Million 2011 2012 %
Broadcast 148.4 153 3.1
Online 39.1 51.7 32.2
International 187.7 180.1 -4.0
Public Performance  131.4 135.4 3.0 
Live 22.5 19.3 -14.2
Recorded Media 101.7 102.3 0.6
Total 630.8 641.8 1.7%

For the full briefing document, please click here


About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 124,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £537.4m in 2015, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

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