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PRS Breaks the Billion-Pound Barrier as Revenue Rises 12%

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As the subscription streaming music model raises public performance royalties, the big collective management organizations are seeing their best years ever. On May 28, just hours after the Swedish CMO STIM announced a 14.2% increase in revenue, the UK CMP PRS for Music announced that in 2023 it took in £1.08 billion ($1.34 billion based on the 2023 average pound-to-dollar conversion rate), breaking the billion-pound barrier with a 12% increase. It also paid out a record £943.6 million ($1.17 billion).

PRS also brought its cost to income ratio down to 9.2%, a particular focus for CEO Andrea Czapary Martin, who wants to keep it below 10%. Last year it was 9.3%.

Over the last decade, PRS has more than doubled its revenue, which went up by 111% since 2014. That’s an astonishing run for the organization, which turns 100 this year. Its membership also grew by 10,000, an unprecedented rise.

“Our remarkable performance in 2023 is a testament to the team’s hard work behind the scenes of the music industry,” Martin said. “We’re not just surpassing financial milestones at the lowest cost-to-income ratio amongst our peers; we’re orchestrating a significant shift in the music business.

Like some of its counterparts, PRS received the most revenue from online licensing — ​£366.5 million ($455.5), up 8.5%; the distribution was ​£360.3 million ($447.8 million), up 23.2. Next came international, which generated ​£339.3 million ($421.7 million), up 25.9%. Public performance royalties, traditionally the core of a PRO, accounted for​ £251.7 million ($312.8 million), up 10%.

Although it’s hard to compare CMOs directly, PRS has had some strong years, and its cost to income ratio is enviable. For much of the last decade, it was above 10%. Over the last two years, it has been below that, partly because it can share some costs with the ICE joint venture it runs with GEMA and STIM.

Ashley Iasimone
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