Image credit: PRS for Music

The UK-based organisation has announced a record breaking £699.4 million was paid to songwriters and composers in royalties during 2020.

Songwriters and composers received a record-breaking £699.4 million royalties in 2020 from PRS for music according to their latest financial results. The payouts represent a 2% increase from the previous year. 

However, as expected the pandemic had a serious impact on revenue for musicians and artists as overall royalties dropped by 19.7%. The decline is due to a significant drop in music being commissioned and played in the UK and worldwide. 

The hardest-hit area was predictably live music performances which saw a staggering drop in revenue, falling by 79.1%, to £11.3 million (much lower than 2019’s £54 million). In addition to this ‘Public Performance’ revenue, which includes music used in business premises such as shops, pubs, and hotels also saw a drop of 61.2% from the previous year. 

The only area that saw growth was music played online, specifically streaming, rising by 5.1% from 2019 to £188.3 million. The amount paid out to music creators from overall online music revenues saw an uplift of 63.2% in comparison to 2019’s figures. 

Speaking on the recent financial results CEO of PRS for Music, Andrea Czapary Martin said: “Music has played an invaluable role for many of us throughout periods of isolation, providing entertainment, escapism, and connection. We must not overlook the talented writers and composers behind the music we turn to. I am immensely proud of the PRS Emergency Relief Fund, paying out £2.2m in grants to members experiencing severe financial hardship because of the pandemic, and we will continue to do as much as we possibly can to support them.”

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 155,500 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and across the globe.