Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

SACEM Revenue Rose 5% to Record $1.6B in 2023

By Michael Jun 5, 2024

At European collective management organizations (CMOs), the hits just keep on coming. On Wednesday (June 5), SACEM announced record results for 2023, with collections up 5% to €1.49 billion ($1.6 billion based on the 2023 average euro-to-dollar conversion rate) compared to the previous year and distributions rising 17% to €1.23 billion ($1.33 billion). The French CMO also announced that its board has voted unanimously to extend Cécile Rap-Veber’s term as CEO. 

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The results come amid a thriving period for European CMOs. In April, GEMA, the German collecting society, announced that revenue rose 8.4% in 2023 to €1.28 billion ($1.4 billion). PRS for Music in the United Kingdom followed at the end of May, disclosing 14.2% revenue growth to £1.08 billion ($1.34 billion). However, in both of those cases, as well as SACEM’s, the results followed years of more substantial growth fueled by music fans eager to get back to seeing live shows in the wake of the pandemic. A year ago, for example, SACEM announced that it had taken in €1.41 billion ($1.54 billion) in 2022 — 34% more than it did the prior year. 

Slower growth seems to be bringing with it a focus on controlling costs, and SACEM’s ratio of expenses to revenue collected is 10.76%, the lowest in its history. “What matters to me is the best value for our members,” SACEM CEO Cécile Rap-Veber tells Billboard. She adds that a more efficient disbursement of royalties boosted growth in distributions beyond that of revenue, saying: “We are distributing faster and faster.”

The biggest source of revenue for SACEM was online, which rose 13% to €557 million ($602.67 million). The second biggest source was general royalties — a category that includes places where music is central, such as concerts, as well as places where it’s not — which was up 18.5% to €388 million ($420 million). Finally, broadcast rights, including TV and radio, brought in €318 million ($344 million).  

Over the past few years, Rap-Veber has helped modernize the French CMO with an initiative known as “SACEM 3.0,” with a focus on delivering results at a reasonable cost.

“2023 was a year of confirmation in the implementation of our major strategic priorities,” Rap-Veber said in a statement.  “We continued our transformation into Sacem 3.0 and worked to improve efficiency, ensuring the sustainability of our management account and optimising both our collections and the amount distributed to our members.” 

More than ever, CMOs are competing for online rights — but also, on some level, for bragging rights. ‘Competition,” says Rap-Veber, “has forced a lot of us to improve.” 

By Michael

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