Google Play, Vevo and Xbox help online music royalties eclipse radio in 2012

Google Play, Vevo and Microsoft Xbox helped to boost revenues from online music services by more than 32% in 2012, eclipsing royalties from the radio industry for the first time.

Mumford and Sons: among the global chart successes in 2012
Mumford and Sons: among the global chart successes in 2012

According to figures from PRS for Music, the body that collects royalties on behalf of songwriters, publishers and composers, UK royalties from online services totalled £51.7m in 2012, up 32.2% year on year.

The average annual growth in online revenues has been 27% over the past five years and in its financial results, PRS for Music said new licensing deals from the likes of Google Play, Vevo and Microsoft Xbox helped boost revenues last year.

Although the revenue from radio broadcasters was eclipsed from online services, which also include Spotify and iTunes, radio's contribution increased slightly, up 0.4% to £47.0m.

PRS for Music collected a total of £153m from 450 TV and 300 radio broadcasters, up 3.1% year on year.

International royalties remained the single largest source of income at £180.1m in 2012, although this declined by 4.0% year on year after being impacted by foreign exchange rates and the soft economy in some countries.

However, despite the overall decline in international revenue, PRS for Music said UK songwriters "continued to dominate internationally", citing the global chart success Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris.

PRS for Music collected total revenue of £646.4m in 2012, up 1.7% year on year, and after costs and charitable contributions, distributed £571.9m to its 95,000 members, up 2.6% year on year.

Robert Ashcroft, the chief executive of PRS for Music, said: "Copyright remains fundamental to the continued success of our members both at home and abroad, while the ever-increasing importance of licensed online services such as iTunes and Spotify underlines the value of music to the internet economy."

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