Collective management organizations (CMOs) that represent songwriters and publishers have produced a steady drumbeat of great results this year. All around the world, CMOs have reported record-setting results from 2022.
Most of the largest growth spurts have come from larger CMOs, such as France’s SACEM, the United Kingdom’s PRS for Music and Sweden’s STIM. SACEM had record collections of 1.41 billion euros ($1.54 billion), up 34% year over year. PRS For Music’s collections hit a record 964 million pounds ($1.19 billion), up 23% from 2021. STIM announced this week that its 2022 collections increased roughly 26% to a record SEK 2.7 billion ($267 million) from 2021.
Four other large CMOs had record-high collections but smaller growth rates: Collections at Canada’s SOCAN grew 16% to CA$484 million ($372 million). U.S. CMO ASCAP’s collections improved 14% to $1.52 billion. Germany’s GEMA’s collections grew 13% to a record 1.18 billion euros ($1.25 billion). And Japan’s JASRAC’s collections climbed 10.5% to 129 billion yen ($981 million).
Those seven CMOs — SACEM, PRS for Music, STIM, SOCAN, ASCAP, GEMA and JASRAC — averaged 19.4% growth in collections and added $1.13 billion in revenue in 2022 (calculated at constant currency to ignore the effects of a stronger U.S. dollar). The figures do not consider inflation rates of 6.5% in the United States, 6.8% in Canada and an average of 9.2% in the European Union.
The growth isn’t limited to the largest CMOs or even the ones that represent the most online rights around the world. Spain’s SGAE didn’t set a record, but its collections of 349 million euros ($367 million) were the most in 15 years. Finland’s Teosto grew collections 10.9% to a record 80.7 million euros ($85 million).
While digital platforms have been key to CMOs’ growth in recent years, CMOs’ record-setting 2022 was largely the result of a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown that closed music venues, decimated retail environments where licensed music can be heard and led people to listen to less broadcast radio. STIM cited the strong recovery of live music despite some pandemic restrictions carrying over to the first quarter of 2022. Its revenue from concerts and festivals increased 213% to SEK 117 million ($11.6 million) — “on par with pre-pandemic figures,” the organization said. STIM’s collections from hotels, restaurants, shops and clubs improved 28% to SEK 201 million ($20.5 million).
SOCAN experienced a 957% improvement in concert revenue — reaching above pre-pandemic levels — and 115% growth in cinema collections, both well ahead of the 24% gain in internet revenue. PRS for Music’s concert business was up 683% from 2021 compared to 25% growth from music streaming. At GEMA, public music performances grew 43.7% to 357.5 million euros ($381.6 million), easily outstripping online revenue’s increase of 26.5% to 301.3 million euros ($321.6 million). SGAE saw its income from live music jump 118% to 28.4 million euros ($29.9 million), more than twice the growth rate of on-demand streaming, which improved 45.6% to 28.9 million euros ($30.4 million).
For the larger European CMOs — PRS for Music, GEMA, SACEM and STIM — some of the growth can be attributed to competition for international online licenses. PRS for Music, GEMA and STIM have a joint venture, ICE, that offers multi-territory licensing to digital services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram and TikTok. According to STIM’s annual report, new licensing deals with user-generated content platforms, and some retroactive payments, “contributed to this year’s ICE revenue being the largest ever by a wide margin.”
There are other factors behind the slew of all-time high collections. Casper Bjørne, STIM’s CEO, attributed the improvements to streamlining its payment processes and “identifying royalties from all over the world,” he said in a statement. Both SGAE and STIM cited renewals of licensing agreements with streaming platforms. Operational efficiency is also a recurring theme for CMOs. ASCAP cited its “technical innovation” as a leading factor in its record collections in 2022 while SACEM cited a transformation plan when announcing all-time high collections.
Other parts of CMOs’ businesses struggled. Traditional radio and television continued to face difficulties in 2022 because of growing on-demand options. SGAE stood out with an 18.7% gain in the broadcasting and cable category, but GEMA’s radio collections fell 3.9% to 325.1 million euros ($347 million). And at STIM, radio’s share of collections fell from 5% in 2021 to 4% in 2022. Fortunately, rebounding economies, surging online revenues and organizational improvements easily overcame these weaknesses to score new highs for CMOs across the globe.