PRS for Music paid out a record $1.2bn to songwriters, composers and music publishers last year

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MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by music data analytics firm Chartmetric.


 

2023 was a record-breaking year for UK-based collection society, PRS for Music.

On Tuesday (May 28), PRS reported that it became “a billion-pound society” last year after collecting £1.08 billion in revenues in 2023, which was up 12.5% YoY and represented a £120.9 million increase compared to 2022.

The London-headquartered society’s £1.08 billion revenue haul last year converts to USD $1.343 billion at the average annual exchange rate published by the IRS for 2023.

PRS said on Tuesday that the milestone arrived two years ahead of schedule. The organization set out a £1 billion revenue target for 2026 at its AGM back in 2021, as part of its “five-year plan,” which also includes paying out £1 billion in royalties to its members by 2026 and achieving a cost-to-income ratio below 10%.

PRS also reported on Tuesday that it paid out a record £943.6 million of royalties to songwriters, composers, and music publishers in 2023, which converts to USD $1.17 billion at the average annual exchange rate published by the IRS.

The society’s royalty distribution figure was up 12.8% YoY and marked an increase of £107.4 million ($133.58m) versus 2022.

PRS also reported that over 6,000 songwriters and composers were paid for the first time in 2023, receiving a combined £1.5 million ($1.86m) in royalties. PRS said that it was able to achieve this “by migrating its distribution systems to the Oracle Cloud, [becoming] the first society to do so”.

Speaking with MBW about these latest results, PRS CEO Andrea Czapary Martin noted that hitting the organization’s £1 billion collection target two years ahead of schedule is “incredible”.

Martin added:  “We aren’t there on payouts yet. But we’re very close. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we hit [the £1 billion payout target] this year.”

Elsewhere, PRS also reported a cost-to-income ratio of below 10% for 2023 – the second consecutive year that the org has achieved this.

In 2023, PRS for Music’s cost-to-income ratio fell to a new low of 9.2%, down from 9.3% the previous year.

PRS noted on Tuesday that cost-to-income is an “important measure of a society’s efficiency” and that the 9.2% achieved for 2023 shows that “PRS for Music’s targeted investments in people, technologies and services, are delivering significant returns on investment for members”.

Commenting further on how PRS brought its cost-to-income ratio down last year, Martin cited the organization’s focus on upgrading its “tech and data” capabilities since she joined as CEO in 2019.

“We are trying to automate as much as we can to make sure that we can reduce our costs, but also that make sure that the employees focus on where we can really increase the top line,” added Martin.

Credit: Garry Jones/PRS For Music

“We’re not just surpassing financial milestones at the lowest cost-to-income ratio amongst our peers; we’re orchestrating a significant shift in the music business. My vision to ascend to a billion-pound society in royalties paid out isn’t just a goal — it reflects our commitment to music creators worldwide.”

Andrea Czapary Martin, PRS for Music

PRS also breaks down its revenues and distributions for 2023 by source.

According to the results published on Tuesday,  PRS collected £366.5 million ($455.84m) from music used online in 2023, which it reports was up 8.5% YoY (£28.7m) on a constant currency basis.

Royalties paid out from music used online (music streaming, video-on-demand and video games) grew 23.2% YoY or £67.9 million to £360.3 million ($448.13m), which, according to PRS, was driven by the “continued growth in streaming and shift from broadcast to on-demand consumption”.


International revenue for 2023, meanwhile, totaled £339.3 million ($422.01m), an increase of 25.9% YoY (£69.9m) at constant currency.

International distributions reached £283.4 million ($352.48m), up 19.35% YoY.

Europe remained the biggest market for PRS members’ music in 2023, with revenue collections exceeding £181 million ($225.12m), up 23% YoY.

Total royalties from North America, meanwhile, increased by 25% YoY, or by £21.1 million, to over £105 million ($130.59m) in 2023.

International revenue from Latin America reached £15.8 million ($19.65m) in 2023, up 77.5% YoY, while revenues generated in the  Middle East & Africa grew 118.8% YoY to £3.5 million ($4.35m).

International royalties collected through the Major Live Concert Service (MLCS) reached £19 million ($23.63m), an uplift of 210% YoY in 2023. The MLCS is PRS for Music’s proprietary offering that services royalties from large concert and events.

Public Performance revenues reached £251.7 million ($313.05m), up 10% YoY, while royalties paid out from public performance, including live music, reached £188.2 million ($234.07m), up 2% YoY.

Commenting on PRS for Music’s 2023 results on Tuesday, CEO Andrea Czapary Martin, said: “Our remarkable performance in 2023 is a testament to the team’s hard work behind the scenes of the music industry.

“We’re not just surpassing financial milestones at the lowest cost-to-income ratio amongst our peers; we’re orchestrating a significant shift in the music business. My vision to ascend to a billion-pound society in royalties paid out isn’t just a goal — it reflects our commitment to music creators worldwide.

“With our focus on innovation and strategic partnerships, including the recent pioneering Project Nexus, we’re shaping the future of our business and redefining how rights are managed globally. For 110 years we have existed to ensure that every music creator receives fair compensation for their artistry, wherever and whenever their music is played.”


All EUR-USD conversions in this report have been made at the annual average rate provided by the IRS.



Chartmetric is the all-in-one platform for artists and music industry professionals, providing comprehensive streaming, social, and audience data for everyone to create successful careers in music.Music Business Worldwide

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