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MCPS member distributions increased by £6.7 million in 2022

By | Published on Wednesday 31 May 2023


UK collecting society MCPS – which collects so called mechanical royalties on behalf of music publishers and songwriters in various scenarios – achieved a £6.7 million increase in member distributions last year, with total monies paid through to its members of £188.4 million.

In a new stats statement from the society, which is owned by the UK’s Music Publishers Association, it’s also revealed that the total number of members within the organisation increased by 7.5% last year, with 2,284 new members. The society also notes that “effective from August 2022, MCPS reduced its commission rates by 10%, an unprecedented reduction from a collection society allowing more returns for members at highly competitive rates”.

The CEO of both MPA and MCPS, Paul Clements, says: “MCPS is committed to driving up value, efficiency and leaving nothing on the table due to publishers, songwriters and composers. We pride ourselves on optimising our service through effective and innovative strategies, protecting mechanical rights and delivering maximum return for our members”.

“We are very excited about celebrating our centenary next year in 2024”, he goes on, “but will of course continue to primarily focus our attentions on increasing member distributions further, and at the most cost-effective rates”.

The primary revenue stream under the mechanical rights banner was traditionally physical discs, with MCPS licensing the record labels that released physical recordings of its members songs.

That revenue stream obviously slumped in the 2000s as the CD market crashed. Though the declines have slowed in recent years, and in some cases the record industry’s physical revenues have grown again – and with it the mechanical royalties that are due – in no small part down to the vinyl revival.

Mechanical rights are also exploited when music is downloaded and streamed, although some of the song royalties due on digital are classified as performing rights income, plus many music publishers license streaming services directly rather than allowing their rights and royalties to flow through the collective licensing system.

There are other mechanical right revenue streams too which are generally handled by MCPS in the UK, especially in the TV, broadcast and production music domain.

With all of the licences it issues, MCPS hires the UK’s performing rights society, PRS, to do the administration work.

Commenting on the 2002 stats, the Chair of MCPS, Universal Music Publishing’s Jackie Alway, says: “We are proud to present our financial results for 2022 and a milestone fourth consecutive year of growth”.

“Despite facing recent challenges such as the global pandemic”, she adds, “the united MCPS board and management team have worked tirelessly for our members. As our centenary approaches, we reflect on our achievements and are determined to press hard for further positive innovations for our members”.