PRS for Music, the U.K. performing rights collection society says ollections were down 1% in 2010. The organization collects both mechanical royalties and performance royalties.
The slight decrease in collections stemmed from a familiar culprit, the CD. Royalties from recorded media such as CDs and DVDs fell 8.8% last year. The U.K. CD market was down 12.4% as chain stores struggled financially. The decline in recorded media was not overcome by growth in other areas: digital services grew 4.3%, commercial radio was up 2.1%, public performance was up 0.5% and foreign royalties were up 1.7%.
In all, collections dropped £7 million, from £618.2 million to £611.2 million. But because PRS reduced administration costs, the amount paid out to songwriters, composers and music publishers declined only £0.8 million.
In the past, growth in digital collections was large enough to offset the drop in royalties from CD and DVD sales. Collections were up 2.6% in 2009 even though recorded media royalties were down 9.3% that year.
Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music, remains upbeat for the future, predicting growth in the legal digital market and from licensing the use of music in the U.K. and other countries. "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."