RnM Team    06 Apr 13 21:25 IST

MUMBAI: As digital music continues to emerge as the main driver of growth for the industry, the Performing Rights Society has reported a record Ł641.8 million collected in royalties for songwriters, composers and music publishers in 2012, 1.7 per cent increase from 2011.

Online revenues from song rights, which includes the publisher’s share on download sales as well as royalty payments from streaming and subscription services, shot up 32.2 per cent between 2011 and 2012 to reach Ł51.7 mn. New licensing agreements with Google Play, Microsoft Xbox and other online players helped UK digital revenues soar upwards.

Royalties from broadcast and the public performance of works also saw some growth in 2012, with television revenue, which includes sync in the UK, up 4.3 per cent to Ł106 mn. Radio increased from Ł46.8 mn to Ł47 mn, while overall public performance income, paid by the live sector and public buildings and businesses which play music, was up by 0.5 per cent to Ł154.7 mn.

PRS for Music chief executive Robert Ashcroft said, “Copyright remains fundamental to the continued success of our members both at home and abroad, while the ever-increasing importance of licensed online services, such as iTunes and Spotify, underlines the value of music to the internet economy.”

The growth was attributed to the booming digital revenue and the continued growth of TV sync that delivered the results. In total Ł571.9 mn was distributed back to the society’s publisher and songwriter members.

According to PRS for Music, digital music players are now the biggest single source of income for songwriters in the UK, having overtaken radio last year after previously eclipsing live events and pubs. The advent of downloads and streaming services like Apple iTunes and Spotify, has more than doubled UK online licensing revenues, from Ł23.3 mn in 2008.

International revenue, which has seen considerable growth in the last decade, fell by four per cent in 2012 due to exchange rate losses. However, this income stream, collected by other collecting organizations from licensees outside the UK who use songs represented by PRS on a global basis – is still the biggest single revenue generator, bringing in Ł180.1 mn.

Plummeting physical sales saw royalties from DVDs fall 18.7 per cent year on year, to Ł10.9 mn, and newspaper and physical cover mounts dropped 35.7 per cent to Ł0.9 mn.

Another formerly lucrative source of royalties’ income, music ringtones have

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