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IMRO has always taken a positive approach to licensing online music services.  Working in partnership with our overseas societies in Europe and beyond our progressive approach has seen our online revenues grow steadily over the past 10 years.  While online revenues have grown for songwriters, composers and publishers over the last decade this has not, as we know as yet, replaced the revenues from the sale of CDs and DVDs.  As the download market shows signs of decline, we are beginning to see strong growth in revenues from streaming services. The market shift is definitely towards streaming.  Streaming subscription revenues have increased by 39% globally since 2013 and now stand at €1.57bn (Digital Music Report 2015).  In 2014 digital revenues reached €520m globally from performance rights and synch. (Digital Music Report 2015)

The market can be divided into two tiers. There are subscription streaming services and there are ad-supported services. From a rightsholder perspective such as IMRO, though not without their issues and not yet mainstream, premium subscription services are beginning to show significant promise. Ad-supported streaming services, currently the most popular tier amongst online music consumers, are more of an issue and have simply not yet demonstrated that they can be a meaningful source of revenue for songwriters and publishers over the long term.   It is IMRO’s responsibility to ensure that it sets tariffs for streaming services that return fair compensation for the creators it represents.  There are currently over 43 million licensed tracks available online through over 400 licensed music services in over 200 countries.  The widespread availability of licensed services is having a positive impact on the reported level of online piracy, particularly in territories where streaming services have taken hold.

We must remember that the streaming market is still in infancy with a global subscription base of just 41m users worldwide (Digital Music Report IFPI 2015).   The entrance of Apple Music into the marketplace has undoubtedly had an impact on consumption patterns.

Overall, and despite some positive market developments, the ad supported streaming market is not yet working for many songwriters and music publishers, however the situation will improve as streaming services continue to grow and gain consumer traction at the premium level.

For further information contact:

Keith Johnson
Director of Marketing & Membership
Irish Music Rights Organisation
Copyright House
Pembroke Row
Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

DD: 353 1 6448035
P: 353 1 6614844
F: 353 1 6763125
E: keith.johnson@imro.ie
W: www.imro.ie

About IMRO

The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) is a national organisation that administers the copyright for the public performance of music in Ireland on behalf of its 11,500 members – songwriters, composers and music publishers – and on behalf of the members of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. IMRO’s function is to collect and distribute royalties arising from the public performance of copyright works.

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