Sweden’s STIM Reports Record Revenue for 2022 Amid Live Music Comeback, International Streaming Growth: ‘No One Else in the Industry Has the Connections That We Do’

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Stockholm, Sweden. Photo Credit: Anna Hunko

Thanks in large part to an over 200 percent year-over-year (YoY) boost in live revenue as well as a 47 percent YoY hike in international streaming and UGC income, Sweden’s STIM has reported record royalty collections of over $250 million (SEK 2.71 billion) for 2022.

The 100-year-old Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå (STIM) shared its 2022 annual report with Digital Music News today. According to the comprehensive performance analysis, STIM distributed SEK 2.15 billion ($198.72 million) of the mentioned sum to its 102,238 “affiliated rightsholders” on the year, consisting specifically of “98,322 individual rightsholders and 3,916 companies.”

And of this tranche, SEK 1.77 billion ($163.60 million) went to “authors and publishers affiliated with STIM” directly, per higher-ups. Behind the broader collections total, STIM pointed to SEK 116.79 million ($10.79 million) from live events, chiefly referring to concerts and festivals (SEK 107.44 million/$9.93 million) – a YoY subcategory jump of about 269 percent, per the disclosed figures.

Meanwhile, the “background” category, at SEK 200.58 million ($18.54 million), is said to have increased by 28.46 percent YoY, with some of the largest segment-specific rises (by percentage) attributed to usages in movie theaters (up 146 percent YoY) and hotels (up 61.34 percent YoY).

Next, radio royalties actually declined slightly from 2021, to SEK 95.89 million ($8.86 million), whereas revenue deriving from usages on television stayed nearly flat YoY as a dip in Swedish television income was mostly offset by an improvement on the foreign television side, the document shows.

Finally, in terms of STIM’s 2022 financials, the ICE co-creator pinpointed a material YoY gain in the “online” category (up 36.42 percent to SEK 1.10 billion/$101.68 million) and in revenue resulting from pacts with foreign societies (up 20.62 percent to SEK 869.30 million/$80.35 million).

“After lengthy negotiations,” the text elaborates of the online growth, “STIM’s songwriters and publishers finally saw the first royalties from TikTok paid out in May 2022.” Elsewhere in the multifaceted report, STIM CEO Casper Bjørner made clear that his organization will pursue a new strategy, dubbed Strategy 2030, notwithstanding its seemingly solid financials.

“It is crucial that we do not stand still and keep on doing the same thing just because STIM is doing well at the moment,” relayed Bjørner, who pulled down a total, “including holiday pay and benefits,” of SEK 3 million (about $277,000) from STIM last year. “We have to be fully focused on the challenges ahead. We hope to finalise the strategy before the summer.”

Additionally, STIM itself emphasized its continued investments (under the “STIM Forward Fund”) “in music promotion efforts in collaboration with FST, Skap and Musikförläggarna,” with this work described as an attempt to lay “the groundwork for revitalisation and diversity in Sweden’s music scene.”

“No one else in the industry has the connections that we do,” said Bjørner. “We are in a unique position where we know everything about commercial music use, user behaviour and how money flows through the system. About what works and what doesn’t. It also allows us to predict a lot about the future and to identify trends on both an individual and an industry level.”