Wednesday, June 20 14:47:34
The amount of cash that goes to musicians and singers from public performances of their work fell last year as pubs, venues, cinemas etc cut back on spending.
The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) has today reported that its total licensing revenue in 2011 amounted to E36.5 million, an anticipated decrease of 4pc on the previous year, reflecting the continuing difficult economic trading environment for all licensees, most particularly in discretionary spending sectors such as pubs, hotels, restaurants and cinema.
Broadcast and concert revenue however, remained stable, while overseas revenue increased substantially.
Commenting on the results, Victor Finn, IMRO CEO, said that, despite the harsh economic environment, IMRO performed well in 2011.
"While revenues were down 4pc below 2010 levels, this was expected and can be attributed to the continued difficulties faced by the hospitality, broadcasting and live music sectors. Costs for the year were tightly controlled, with a 0.6pc saving achieved from 2010. Over the past four years, we have managed to reduce our overheads by a total of just under E1m," he said.
Mr Finn added that IMRO remains committed to representing a collective voice for music creators in a challenging economic environment.
"We have and will continue to invest in our IT systems in order to further drive revenues. We have delivered many improvements in our services for members; moving member work registrations and distribution statements online. The majority of members are now using the members online portal to manage their membership transactions with IMRO. This is delivering both savings and enhanced information flow for all. The recent launch of a new and improved IMRO website continues our investment in online tools for members and licensees."
The launch of IMRO's secure member portal with enhanced facilities includes; the ability to access current repertoire details, register works directly online, view distribution statements, and also search and claim royalties. The launch of the new portal also eliminates the need for paper and allows members to interact with IMRO on a 24hr basis.
Keith Donald, IMRO Chairman also commented, "While the Irish business environment remains difficult, IMRO has managed to deliver satisfactory results for 2011. These reflect the proactive strategies the organisation has taken in the areas of cost containment, increased market penetration and continued investment in IT systems."
"The ongoing economic downturn continues to pose challenges for IMRO. In 2012 our focus will be to maintain 2011 revenue levels, continue a review of our licensing schemes, grow online revenue, enforce rights on behalf of our members via an effective office based and on-the-ground presence, and via a rigorous defence of member's copyrights. All of this will be done in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible."
Commenting on the Copyright Review, Victor Finn, IMRO CEO said, "The statutory instrument giving copyright owners the right to take injunctive proceedings against third parties in the event that infringement acts are committed on their networks, was transposed into Irish law earlier this year by Minister Richard Bruton. We welcome this development. The future for music is in broadcast, online, on mobile and cloud platforms, all of which offer growth prospects."
Mr. Finn continued, "Growth will occur through partnerships collaboration between the creative community and technology companies, not by these sectors being pitted against one another. Respect and reward for innovation go hand-in-hand with copyright protection, promotion and enforcement. We will continue to advocate such a partnership approach on behalf of our members. We are currently engaging with the Copyright Review Committee and with Government to ensure a balanced set of measures is introduced. This will ensure that new enterprises in the off-line and online environments have easy access to our repertoire and that royalty fees paid for such use are fair and reasonable."