Business News Labels & Publishers

French song rights society SACEM reports 34% increase in collections in 2022

By | Published on Thursday 22 June 2023

French song rights collecting society SACEM yesterday published its figures for 2022, confirming that those revenue streams that took a hit during the pandemic are recovering, while digital income continues to grow.

As a result, total collections were up 34% to €1.41 billion, while distributions to songwriters and publishers rose 19% to €1.05 billion.

The society confirmed that “for the second year in a row, the digital sector was the leading source of royalties, surging 38% compared with 2021, to €493 million”.

Meanwhile income from the broadcast and performance of songs – both of which dipped during the pandemic, as broadcasters saw their advertising revenues fall and live music went into shutdown – were both in recovery mode.

Broadcast royalties were up 19% to €353.1 million, while what the society categorises as ‘general royalties’ were up 93% to €327.0 million.

The trends reported by SACEM are similar to those reported by other song right societies around the world, which are also seeing digital becoming an ever more important revenue generator, while COVID-hit revenues are slowly getting back to pre-pandemic levels.

The specifics do differ from country to country depending on the role collecting societies play in the licensing of song rights. For example, societies in Continental Europe – like SACEM – generally take the lead with digital licensing, meaning most streaming revenues flow through the society system.

Whereas with Anglo-American repertoire, some publishers negotiate direct deals with the streaming services in many markets, meaning not all the money flows through the societies. Though – for various reasons – those publishers generally work with collecting societies on that direct licensing, including, in some cases, SACEM.

Commenting on the 2022 figures, SACEM CEO Cécile Rap-Veber says: “Thanks to the resumption of concerts, the explosion of digital, the new agreements signed with the many users of SACEM’s repertoire, and the strategic shift undertaken in its transformation plan, SACEM had a record year in terms of both collections and royalties distributed. These results demonstrate, once again, our ability to adapt and strengthen our expertise in a highly competitive and rapidly changing sector”.