The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) has projected that global music publishing collections will fall by as much as 35 percent in 2020, for a total loss of $4.11 billion (€3.5 billion).
Paris-based CISAC made the less-than-encouraging prediction today, in its 2020 Global Collections Report. The 94-year-old entity based the forecasted dip in global music publishing collections upon the estimated losses of its 238 member societies (which span 121 countries) as well as “current information.”
Despite five consecutive years of growth – including all-time-high collections of $11.86 billion (€10.10 billion) in 2019 – the COVID-19 pandemic is on track to produce a roughly 20 percent ($2.35 billion) to 35 percent ($4.11 billion) decrease this year, per CISAC – potentially sending collections beneath 2015 levels. Building upon the point, the 50-page-long analysis emphasized that 2019’s overall growth was driven largely by the collections of already-substantial markets.
The U.S., for instance, which accounted for a 21.8 percent share of global music publishing collections in 2019, enjoyed a 13.6 percent year-over-year boost. But each of the other nations on CISAC’s top-10 list (save Switzerland, which took the 10th spot following Spain’s suspension and turned in over 22 percent growth) experienced comparatively modest growth even in pre-pandemic 2019. Germany (7.7 percent), France (3.1 percent), and the Netherlands (-1.1 percent) trailed the States, stacking 2019 growth rates against one another.
Royalties deriving from digital sources will “remain resilient,” the Björn Ulvaeus-led organization indicated, but the underlying assets are “still undervalued.” Moreover, digital sources accounted for 20.5 percent of 2019 royalties, second only to “Live & Background” (27.7 percent) and “TV & Radio” (37.3 percent), according to the 50-page-long analysis.
And predictably, given the unprecedented disruption that the pandemic has caused in the crowd-based entertainment sphere and, to a lesser but still significant extent, public establishments like bars, restaurants, and hotels, CISAC is anticipating a 60 to 80 percent decline in “Live and Background” global music publishing collections. Advertising cutbacks are contributing to a predicted 10 to 20 percent decline in TV and radio royalties, while CISAC specified that fans’ ongoing pivot to streaming will bolster the corresponding royalties.
Lastly, CISAC noted in its report that 2021 global music publishing collections “will remain below the level of 2019” both due to the continued impact of COVID-19 (including an expected mid- or late-year comeback for traditional concerts) and the fact that a number of 2020 payments “were made before the crisis started.”
About one month back, CISAC formally announced that it had overhauled the ISWC global-identification system for the first time since 2005. Ulvaeus stated in the same release that the new-and-improved system will “help put more money more quickly into creators’ pockets.”