The publishing side of our industry has been holding its breath waiting for data on the delayed impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on the revenues collected and distributed by collecting societies.
Judging by US PRO Ascap’s latest financials, that impact has yet to hit with full force. It collected more than $1.33bn in 2020, up by 4.2% year-on-year, which is actually more in percentage terms than the $3.8% rise in 2019.
The figures include 28% growth for audio streaming collections and 8% growth for audio/visual collections, helping to offset a 30% drop in collections from concerts and businesses.
Ascap paid out $1.21bn of those collections in royalties to songwriters, composers and publishers, representing 2.5% growth year-on-year.
It’s a more positive outcome than Ascap predicted in April last year, when president Paul Williams warned that “it is important to ensure that we are prepared for a decline in both revenues and distributions”.