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Worldwide royalty collections for creators of music, audiovisual, visual arts, drama and literature reached a record €9.65 billion in 2018 ($10.74 billion), according to the 2019 Global Collections Report published today by CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers). The organization represents 232 member societies in 120 countries, totaling more than 4 million creators from artistic repertoires including music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts.

According to the report, royalties from digital sources jumped 29% to €1.64 billion, a growth it attributes to rapid global expansion of music and subscription video on-demand services. In the last five years, creators’ digital income has nearly tripled, now accounting for 17% of collections compared to 7.5% in 2014. The increase in major markets’ digital collections – notably the United States, France and Japan – are the biggest drivers of global growth. This growth is helped by new and extended licensing deals between societies and digital platforms, from dedicated content services like Spotify to social media platforms such as Facebook and video on demand platforms such as Netflix and Amazon.

Global collections for music repertoire, accounting for the majority of the total, rose 1.8% to €8.5 billion ($9.41 billion), driven by a 29.6% growth in digital income and the continuing surge in subscription streaming revenues. Music royalties from digital sources jumped 30% to €1.64 billion, thanks to rapid global expansion of music and subscription video on-demand  services. In the last five years, creators’ digital income has nearly tripled to €1.6 billion, now accounting for 19% of collections compared to 15% in 2017. The report also notes that three years ago there no top 20 markets with digital as the primary music collections source, whereas in 2018 there were five, topped by Mexico, where digital accounts for nearly half the market.

Total collections in 2018, for all repertoires, grew 0.9%, the fifth consecutive year of growth. Over the five years since 2014, global collections by CISAC societies are up 25.4%. Digital growth, combined with resilience in the two other major uses (TV/radio and live/background), are continuing to offset declining income from physical media.

Overall, the fastest digital growth among the top 20 markets over five years was seen in Brazil (1,800%), Mexico (1,220%), France, (510%), China (480%) and the U.S. (310%).

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron said: “This report provides many reasons for optimism about our sector. Digital revenues show an impressive increase, have nearly tripled in the last five years and have enormous potential for further growth. More markets are seeing digital income taking the top position of all revenue streams, which is an extremely positive sign. In a landscape of fragmenting income sources, the role of authors societies in generating monetary value for millions of creators has never been more vital.”

The report shows other key indicators of the shift to digital: Asia-Pacific is a digital leader, with an online share of 26.3%, twice that of Europe at 13.3%; and Australasia, Sweden, South Korea, Mexico and China are in a growing group of “digital champions” where online revenues are now the top collections source. However, the Report also highlights the need for legislative action to bring fair creators’ remuneration, calling on governments to follow the example of the landmark EU Copyright Directive, adopted in April 2019.

Jean-Michel Jarre, CISAC President and pioneering electronic musician (pictured above), said: “Digital is our future and revenues to creators are rising fast, but there is a dark side to digital, and it is caused by a fundamental flaw in the legal environment that continues to devalue creators and their works. That is why the European Copyright Directive is so momentous for creators everywhere. The Directive has sent an amazing, positive signal around the world, building a fairer balance between creators and the tech platforms”.