Performing-rights organization ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, announced record-setting financial results for 2021, notably a record-high revenue of $1.335 billion.
Increases in collections from the audio streaming and audio-visual sectors pushed ASCAP’s domestic revenue to $1.011 billion in 2021, up 4.4%, an increase of $42.5 million over 2020. This was the first year that ASCAP domestic revenues from U.S.-licensed performances surpassed $1 billion.
According to the announcement, since ASCAP launched its strategic growth plan in 2015, revenues have hit a 5% compound annual growth rate and ASCAP members have benefited from a 6% compound annual growth rate in overall distributions, and an 8% compound annual growth rate in domestic distributions.
ASCAP’s identification, matching and processing of trillions of musical performances drove record-setting distributions that exceeded $1 billion for the fifth year in a row and increased $41 million over the previous year, for a total of $1.254 billion available for distribution to its more than 850,000 songwriter, composer and publisher members in 2021.
Total monies available for domestic distributions of licensed and administered performances amounted to $912.6 million, a 2.4% increase of $22 million over 2020.
A solid domestic performance helped to offset the challenges in foreign revenues, due to the ongoing global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the announcement continues. Revenue from foreign societies in 2021 totaled $323.5 million, down 9.7% from 2020 due largely to business closures and the lack of vaccinations. However, ASCAP’s international distributions were up $19 million, or 5.9%, bringing total monies available for distributions up 3.4% over 2020.
“The ASCAP team is dedicated to building a future of opportunity for our songwriter, composer and music publisher members,” commented ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. “We know music creators have been deeply affected by the pandemic, and that is why it is so important that ASCAP has delivered more royalties to our members when they need it most. Through our licensing, advocacy and wellness efforts, we strive to provide both economic and emotional support to our members to help them weather these challenging times and to create a brighter future.”
“Music creators have no greater champion than ASCAP,” said ASCAP board chairman and president Paul Williams. “The ASCAP team worked extremely hard for our members for the second pandemic year, helping our community to stay healthy, creative, connected and financially stable during this time. Music gives us the gift of hope, which is so critical as we move forward. We forge ahead with our work in 2022 with inspiration and gratitude for the trust that our members place in us to enable their livelihoods, protect their rights and defend the value of music.”
ASCAP elected over 58,000 new members in 2020 and is now home to over 850,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.
The ASCAP 2021 Annual Report can be viewed at www.ascap.com/annualreport.