Swedish collection society STIM’s payouts hit record $217m in 2022

Photo credit: Julia Sixtensson
Casper Bjørner, CEO of Stim

Swedish musical works collection society STIM’s payouts to songwriters, composers and publishers reached SEK 2.2 billion (USD $217m as per average annual exchange rates published by the IRS) in 2022, a new all-time high.

The society revealed the figures in its annual report for 2022, which also highlighted a significant increase in royalty revenue. 

In 2022, the society collected SEK 2.7 billion in royalty revenue, marking a substantial rise of SEK 550 million compared to the previous year.

In comparison, the revenue of its German peer GEMA rose 13% year over year to EUR €1.178 billion ($1.28 billion) in 2022, also reaching a record high. In the UK, PRS For Music’s revenue collection in 2022 hit GBP £964 million ($1.22 billion), while ASCAP’s collection totaled $1.5 billion.

STIM, a non-profit copyright organization with 100,000 affiliated music makers and music publishers, says it aims to ensure fair compensation for its represented members when their music is played.

“2022 has been a fantastic year in terms of results, and we’re really proud to be able to pay out such a large sum – with a development that also promises of great things for the next 100 years.”

Casper Bjørner, STIM

“2022 has been a fantastic year in terms of results, and we’re really proud to be able to pay out such a large sum – with a development that also promises of great things for the next 100 years,” said STIM CEO Casper Bjørner.

“As well as the incredible music that our affiliates create, this is also the result of all the hard work going into identifying royalties from all over the world. Further, a lot of energy has gone into streamlining payment processes as well as negotiating new, successful agreements with major digital platforms.” 

Exporting Swedish music contributed to STIM’s strong revenue in 2022. Revenues from copyright societies in other countries rose 21% to SEK 869 million, driven by a quicker-than-expected recovery from the pandemic.

Additionally, revenue from international music services, including streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram, and YouTube, registered a 47% growth in 2022. 

STIM said it became one of the first copyright societies worldwide to make payments for music played on TikTok, alongside GEMA in Germany, the UK’s PRS for Music and IMRO in Ireland.

In November 2022, the Swedish Parliament passed a new copyright law based on the EU Copyright Directive, placing greater responsibility on social media platforms regarding copyrighted material uploaded by users.

Even as the pandemic continued to disrupt the live music industry in the first quarter of 2022, STIM experienced a strong recovery throughout the year. 

Revenues from concerts and festivals soared 213% year over year to SEK 117 million, comparable to pre-pandemic levels. However, the ongoing trend of smaller and medium-sized concert halls and venues disappearing raised concerns about the potential reshaping of the market.

STIM’s income from hotels, restaurants, shops, and clubs also continued to improve, rising 28% year over year to SEK 201 million.

In terms of diversity and development, STIM distributed SEK 4 million in grants to 149 music and text creators in 2022, with 52% of the beneficiaries being women. 

Furthermore, the society allocated SEK 51 million to its music promotion mission, aiming to foster regrowth and diversity in the music industry.

In 2022, STIM welcomed 3,567 new music creators and publishers, bringing the total number of affiliates to 102,238. The society distributed payments for over 2.8 million works and nearly 478,000 music creators and publishers from across the world.

The top 10 most played songs registered with STIM in 2022 include The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights, Save Your Tears, and Take My Breath, Imagine Dragons’ Believer, Dutch singer Duncan Laurence’s Arcade, The Cardigans’ Lovefool, The Backstreet Boys’ I Want it That Way, Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling, and Sam Smith’s Diamonds.

Music Business Worldwide