ASCAP paid songwriters over $1bn in 2017 for first time in history

US-based collection and licensing society ASCAP paid out over $1bn to members annually last year for the first ever time.

This $1.007bn cumulative distribution, which was spread across more than 660,000 members, represented a rise of 10% on the prior year.

Meanwhile, revenues collected by ASCAP across the 12 months hit $1.144bn, up 8% year-on-year.

The fact that distribution growth (+10%) was higher than collection growth (+8%) shows that ASCAP became more efficient on a cost-to-income basis in the year – good news for songwriters who want to see their money spent in the least wasteful manner possible.

ASCAP operates on a not-for-profit basis and delivers about 88 cents of every dollar collected back to members for performances of their music: its operating expense ratio stood at about 12% in 2017.

In addition to seeing general growth from streaming last year, ASCAP said one of its biggest results was a new agreement with YouTube, signed in June 2017, which ‘will improve the accuracy and reliability of the metadata attached to musical works, and will result in greater compensation for ASCAP members’.

Revenues from ASCAP’s licensing efforts in the US alone grew nearly 11% in 2017 to $846 million, up $86.9 million over 2016.

Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the US also increased, to $723 million, up 15% over 2016.

“Our healthy 2017 financial results are proof positive that we are succeeding in our strategic transformation and our mission to support music creators and music publishers for a sustainable future in the digital economy.”

Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP (pictured)

ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews commented: “ASCAP is privileged to represent the creators of the world’s best-loved music. ASCAP is securing a strong future for our members by successfully closing key licensing deals and launching innovative digital tools that will enhance the lives of our members and make it easier for licensees to do business with us.

“Our healthy 2017 financial results are proof positive that we are succeeding in our strategic transformation and our mission to support music creators and music publishers for a sustainable future in the digital economy.”

ASCAP President Paul Williams said: “I am gratified by the hard work that the ASCAP team does every day to make it possible for members of ASCAP to make their living as music creators. 2017 was a year of progress on so many fronts at ASCAP, including important deals that keep money flowing back to creators, technological investments that will keep us ahead of changes in the industry and momentum behind our efforts to reform our outdated music licensing system.”

 

Chart-topping members of ASCAP included Ashley Gorley, Drew Taggart, Daddy Yankee, Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Ray Charles McCullough & Jeremy Reeves (The Stereotypes), Frederic Kennett, Isaac Slade, Joe King, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, Steve Mac (PRS), Justin Bieber, Poo Bear, Mattman & Robin (STIM), Kendrick Lamar, Mike Will Made-It, Lil Uzi Vert, Louis Bell and Quavo.Music Business Worldwide

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