2021 was the year when the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on music was expected to be felt most strongly for many songwriters, with a delayed hit on the public performance royalties collected and paid out by collecting societies.
Here’s some interesting news in that context: in the US, ASCAP set a new record for annual collections in 2021. The PRO’s revenues were $1.34bn last year, including more than $1bn in domestic collections for the first time in its history. ASCAP paid out $1.25bn to more than 850,000 songwriter, composer and publisher members from last year’s collections.
So much for Covid-19? Well, that is still having an impact: ASCAP said its revenue from foreign collecting societies fell by 9.7% in 2021 to $323.5m “due largely to business closures and the lack of vaccinations”. However, the organisation’s payouts for international distributions still rose by 5.9%: it cited “technological and distribution process efficiencies and timing” for that.