CISAC Reports Global Royalty Collections Hit Record $10 Billion

Jean-Michel Jarre

Global royalty collections for creators have hit a new record high of €9.2 billion ($10.1 billion) annually, up 6% on the previous year according to an annual report published last week by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).

Focusing on music, songwriters, composers, and publishers saw collections grow by 6.8% to €8.0 billion (US$8.9 billion), helped by a 52% increase in digital revenues. Collections for audiovisual and literature works were also up, although there were small declines in collections for visual arts and drama.

CISAC, which represents 239 creators’ societies in 121 countries, reported that revenues from digital uses of all repertoires have nearly tripled since 2012, and grew 51.4% in 2016 to just under €1 billion, largely driven by streaming subscription services. At €948 million (US$1,045 million) digital still accounts for only 10.4% of global income, however, with revenues held back in particular by what a press release termed as “poor returns from UGC video streaming platforms,” a clear reference to YouTube. TV and radio broadcast take the largest collections share with 42.8% of global income, followed by live and background uses.

CISAC director general Gadi Oron commented: “This year’s report shows the system of collective management of creators’ rights is robust, successful and ready for more growth. The big traditional revenue streams, led by broadcast and live performance, remain stable and strong. Digital royalties continue to surge and in some markets already overtake other forms of income. The figures we’re releasing today reflect our societies’ relentless effort to be more efficient and innovative, and drive income growth.”

Jean-Michel Jarre, CISAC president and electronic-music pioneer, said: “This is a vast sector of cultural and economic activity, worth an amazing €9 billion worldwide. Despite its growth, however, collections are nowhere near the level they should be. Large industries that use creative content are driving down the value of our works. A simple illustration of this is the ‘transfer of value’ in the digital market where platforms such as YouTube are paying mere crumbs to authors. There is no greater priority that we ask from governments today than a solution to the transfer of value.”

(Pictured: Jean-Michel Jarre.)