UK Collection Society PRS Brings In $1 Billion

UK collection society PRS for Music has reported a 1 percent rise in yearly revenues, on a constant currency basis, the organization announced today (May 8). Combined royalty income across PRS and the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Limited (MCPS) totaled £664.3 million (just over $1 billion) in 2014 -- an increase of nearly £1 million ($1.5 million) and 1 percent on 2013’s total, despite challenging market conditions in the Eurozone.  
 
A key contributor to the year-on-year growth was the continued international success of UK artists with Mumford & Sons, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran helping PRS collect £188.2 million ($278.8 million) from overseas markets.

A rise in revenues from emerging markets was also a major factor, with Latin America, Africa and the Middle East all delivering significant growth and collections from Asia Pacific up 2.2 percent on a constant currency basis.     
 
Revenue from the public performance of music additionally rose by £6 million ($9.3 million) to a new high of £168.3m ($260 million), while royalties from the cinema sector rose 11.5 percent as a result of new monitoring initiatives and improvements in efficiency.    

As expected, one tariff sector where royalty collections decreased was recorded music, which totalled £63.1 million ($97.5 million) -- an over 20 percent fall on the previous year. Revenues from pubs and clubs, which have been particularly hard hit in the UK over the past five years, were also down on the previous year.
 
Those falls were, however, offset by an increase in television and radio royalties, which grew 2.9 percent to £165 million ($255 million), and online revenues, which climbed 17.5 percent to nearly £80 million ($124 million). For the first time, online royalties outstripped those from physical product and streaming revenues (nearly £40 million/$61 million) exceeded those of downloads (£27 million/$42 million). 

“Despite the impact of a challenging economic backdrop in key international territories, a strong pound and the decline of the physical market, we managed to achieve our budgeted revenues in 2014,” said PRS chief executive Robert Ashcroft in a statement.
 
“We work hard to provide an outstanding service to members with the lowest possible charge to them,” he went on to say, adding: “Though there remains much more to be done as we modernize PRS for Music’s operations, this was nonetheless a landmark performance in our centenary year.”
 
PRS for Music was founded in 1914 and represents the rights of 111,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and over two million worldwide. The organization’s full financial results will be presented at its AGM in London on May 19.