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News October 28, 2022

CISAC Labels Australia a ‘Digital Collection Champion,’ Royalties Remain Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Senior Journalist, B2B
CISAC Labels Australia a ‘Digital Collection Champion,’ Royalties Remain Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Income from digital channels surged last year, though revenue from live and public performance was — no surprises here — slowed by the pandemic. And Australians love their books.

Those are some of the takeways from the Global Collections Report 2022, published by CISAC, the global network of authors’ societies.

Income from live and public performance in ANZ fell by -33% in both 2020 and 2021, according to the new report, and remains below the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

“A strict second lockdown in 2021 restricted the hospitality, fitness and nightclub sectors, and forced the cancellation of concerts and theatrical events,” notes the report’s editors.

Though foreign acts stayed away during those lean years of 2020 and 2022, live action is heating up in 2022, “but slowly,” the report continues.

The troubles of the past couple of years aside, Australia remains a top 10 nation for music royalty collections, raking in €264 million ($407 million) in 2021, up 9.1% year on year.

That represents 3.1% of the global share, and ranks Australia at No 8, behind Canada and ahead of South Korea and Spain, respectively.

The Australian market is identified as a “digital collection champion,” with subscription and ad-funded streaming, including video-on-demand, accounting for €153 million ($236 million) of collections, or 57.9% of the total.

Australians also remain one of the largest collectors for literature, the report notes.

Total royalties collected in Australia, and globally, remain doggedly below pre-COVID levels.

On a worldwide basis, total royalty collections reported by CISAC’s membership came in at €9.6 billion ($14.8 billion) in 2021, up 5.8% from the corresponding year-before period, but 5.3% lower than in 2019.

The result “illuminates the disastrous impact of the two-year lockdown on live and public performance income, the potential for further digital growth and the urgent need for actions to unlock more value for creators in the streaming market,” reads a statement accompanying the report.

Adds CISAC president Björn Ulvaeus, founding member of ABBA: “Digital royalties collected by CISAC societies are growing impressively, but the streaming world is still unfinished business when it comes to ensuring a fair environment to earn a living.”

He continues, “too much of the data needed to identify and remunerate creators is incomplete or missing when works are ingested on streaming services. The result is a lot of money that is left on the table when it should be going into creators’ pockets.”

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC),  includes AMCOS among its 228 collective management organisation (CMO) members.

Download the report here.

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