Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SACEM's Tronc sees "huge potential growth from streaming"

By Emmanuel Legrand

French authors' society SACEM collected €810 million in 2013, up 1.7% on the previous year, according to estimates unveiled in Cannes on Feb. 1.

Overall, SACEM CEO Jean-Noel Tronc said during a press conference in Cannes at Midem that 2013 was characterized by an increase in royalties from concerts, background music and streaming. 

The biggest growth was experienced by internet-related use of music at €24.7 million, up 20.5%. Tronc said that streaming revenues have exceeded revenues from downloads for the first time since SACEM started collecting online rights.

Even though online use of music only represents 3% of overall collections, Tronc said that there was "huge potential growth from streaming."

Live music in concerts, discotheques and other public space still represent the bulk of SACEM's revenues, at €281.7 million, up 3.1%. Revenues from public performance of music works on radio and TV were stable at €236.7 million. 

International revenues coming from sister societies topped €80 million, a 2.3% drop compared to the year before, which Tronc explained as being a consequence of a strong euro. Over the past five years, international revenues experienced a 3% growth showing, according to Tronc, the strength of French repertoire on a global basis.

The stream of revenues experiencing the biggest drop was recorded music at €65.4 million, down 7.3%, reflecting the on-going drop is sales from CDs and DVDs.

With revenues topping €67 million, 2013 was a good year for private copying although Tronc said that the proceeds from the levy were under threat from manufacturers lobbying the government to abolish the regulation. 

In his opening remarks in Cannes, Sacem president, the film score composer Jean-Claude Petit Jean-Claude Petit invited European creators to remain "vigilant" since there were "menaces" both on the private copy regime and also, more generally, on copyright.

Said Petit, "Our rights as authors are under threat, and we are all mobilised to defend out rights. All the societies, not only in European but also in the US and around the world, are on the offensive because there are adversaries of these rights, mostly among the big internet companies, who also find some interested ears within policyu-makers."

Petit invited fellow creators to mobilise and take part in the current debates about copyright. Prime among his concern was the current consultation on copyright reform engaged by the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm. The consultation, launched in December 2013, was due to expire on Feb. 4, and was extended by one month. "Make your voice heard," said Petit, urging creators to go online and answer the 80-question questionnaire presented by the Commission.

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