‘Transformed and Battle-Ready’ SACEM Posts Record Collections for 2022 — Even As Certain Revenue Categories Remain Beneath Pre-Pandemic Levels

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France’s Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (SACEM) has posted all-time-high collections of over €1.41 billion (currently $1.55 billion) for 2022, when revenue attributable to streaming platforms and other digital sources is said to have approached €500 million ($549.54 million).

SACEM detailed its 2022 financials and membership specifics in a recently published annual report. Of course, the society had previously identified material collections falloffs (less than €1 billion/$1.1 billion in collections for 2020 and just over that sum in 2021) as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions decimated the live entertainment landscape and shut down more than a few bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Within the €1.41 billion or so in 2022 collections, SACEM pinpointed €492.6 million/$541.37 million from the aforesaid online category (up 37.6% year over year), €353.1 million/$388.06 million from TV and radio (up 18.9% YoY), and €327 million/$359.38 million attributable to “general rights” (up 92.8% YoY but still down from pre-pandemic 2019).

Rounding out the URights owner’s 2022 collections total is €104.1 million/$114.43 million from “private copying” (up 9.1% YoY) as well as €88.5 million/$97.26 million from international usages (up 9.9% YoY) and €48.1 million/$52.86 million from the long-declining “phono/video” category (down 14.3% YoY).

Shifting to the distribution side, SACEM – which is said to have 210,800 members, 14,100 of whom joined last year and about 17% of whom are women – paid rightsholders approximately €1.06 billion ($1.18 billion) for 2022, the resource shows.

Notwithstanding an almost €10 million/$10.99 million YoY hike in personnel costs, to €134.7 million/$148.06 million during the 12-month stretch, the revenue boost resulted in expenses’ accounting for 11.7% of collections – well beneath the percentages delivered by the three prior years, according to the analysis.

Elsewhere in the 36-page annual report, SACEM doubled down on its “SACEM 3.0” optimization initiative and seemingly underscored its openness to AI-related earning opportunities. Specifically, the Pianity-partnered entity is according to CEO Cécile Rap-Veber “exploring the prospects offered by AI and Web3 technology” by “experimenting with innovative solutions to create value in new creative playing fields.”

Addressing the organization’s 2022 showing in a statement, composer and SACEM board chair Serge Perathoner made clear his belief that “never before have Sacem’s costs been so tightly under control.”

“The strength of our tools and our expertise in authors’ rights management have enabled us to optimise the value works generate by redistributing more revenue to creators and publishers,” continued Perathoner, who’s coming up on his 50th anniversary as part of SACEM.

“For the first time in its history, our society distributed almost one billion euros to authors, composers and publishers who have placed their trust in us. Transformed and battle-ready, Sacem is armed to seek even greater value for its members,” he finished.

PRS for Music in late April shed light upon a “dramatic recovery” from the pandemic and an associated collections rebound, whereas CISAC (which has 227 members, PRS for Music and SACEM among them) published its own annual report about one month back.