This week saw the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) in the US hold its latest Indie Music Publishing Summit in New York.
The event included a presentation with Massarsky Consulting offering some new stats on independent publishers’ businesses. Among them: the news that performance royalties were 50% of indie publishers’ revenues in 2018 (at least for those surveyed for this study), with digital and physical mechanical royalties accounting for 32% and synchronisation for 19%. Of those performance royalties, terrestrial radio generated 38% in 2018, compared to 34% from streaming audio services.
There was also some interesting data on radio airplay: songs more than two years old accounted for 52.9% of indie publishers’ radio ‘spins’ in 2018, up 3.6% from 2016.
“Radio spin data confirms the appropriateness of independent music publishing’s rapid investment into the Standards catalogues,” said presenter Barry Massarsky, noting that music licensing accounts for just 4.6% of a typical terrestrial-radio station operating expenses, even though music accounts for 67% of a typical hour’s airtime. “While music is also key to terrestrial radio, the amount stations pay out in licensing fees is a blip in their overall operating expenses,” he said. “As such, independent publishers should not hesitate to join the call for a performance right for master recordings, updated consent decrees, and other reforms that will help make performance royalties equitable for the entire industry.”