France's Sacem Posts Record Revenues of $1.5 Billion

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French authors' rights society Sacem has reported record revenues with royalty income rising 3.9 percent to €1.37 billion ($1.5 billion) in 2016.

Of that total, €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) was paid out to members and affiliate neighbouring rights organizations (up 2 percent on 2015) with just under €60 million ($67 million) invested in almost 2,000 creative and cultural sustainability projects – including financial support for music venues and festivals - to help ensure long term growth for the industry.

In line with previous years, revenues collected on behalf of Sacem's 160,000 members generated the lion's share of income, rising 2.6 percent to €884 million ($990 million).

Breaking that total down, audiovisual collections (income from TV and radio stations) brought in €322 million. Public performance revenues and collections from music played in cinemas, clubs, bars, stores and hotels (grouped as general rights) drew €292 million.

Private copying and international collections each brought in another €80 million, while online revenues climbed 42 percent year-on-year to €56 million ($62 million) with SACEM processing 987 billion sales across 2.6 trillion individual transactions. Royalty income from CD sales fell 5.1 percent to €49 million ($54 million).

The remainder of Sacem's record income came from other collection societies, with mandate revenues growing 6.5 percent to €487 million ($544 million).  

"The rapid growth in revenues from online confirms the importance of creating a world class technology platform to ensure we maximize the opportunities for our members and partners from online music distribution," said Jean-Noël Tronc, CEO of Sacem in a statement.

Calling the past 12 months "a landmark year for Sacem," Tronc cited improvements to the organization's operational procedures and strategic initiatives, such as its recent partnership with tech giant IBM​, with fueling growth and ensuring a "sustainable future" for its 160,000 members, spanning 166 different nationalities.

"Our passionate approach to digital innovation and our commitment to provide an efficient, transparent service means we are a partner of choice for other rights-holders worldwide," said Tronc. "We look forward to further expanding our international reach in the years ahead, as we leverage our partnerships and digital capabilities to maximize value and opportunity for all our members and the other rights-holders we represent."