Jun 5, 2024 2 min read

SACEM reports total collections of €1.48 billion for 2023

French collecting society SACEM collected €1.48 billion in royalties in 2023, distributing €1.23 billion to its members. Having made “controlling costs a priority”, the society says it has reduced the percentage of royalties spent on running the organisation to 10.76%

SACEM reports total collections of €1.48 billion for 2023

French collecting society SACEM is the latest rights organisation to publish its figures for 2023, bragging total collections of €1.48 billion, up 5% on 2022. It distributed €1.23 billion to its songwriter and publisher members. 

Like PRS in the UK, SACEM now talks up the lowering of its admin costs as much as its record breaking collections, which seems like something collecting societies should be focused on. “SACEM has made controlling its costs a priority, managing to reduce its net operating costs-to-collections ratio for the second year running”, its statement earlier today declares. 

That’s the percentage of collections spent on running the society, which was 10.76% in 2023 compared with 11.65% in 2022. Of course, with certain economies of scale, as total collections go up you would naturally expect running costs, as a percentage of collections, to go down. But well done everybody for trying to get as much cash as possible to songwriters and publishers. 

As with PRS, which published its 2023 figures last week, broadcast royalties were down at SACEM last year, by 4% compared to 2022. However, digital income was up by 13%, while a category with the super useful label of ‘general royalties’ - which includes the live and public performance of music - was up 18.5%. 

SACEM’s total collections are somewhat higher than PRS. Converted into pounds, SACEM collections come in at £1.26 billion, compared to total PRS collections of £1.08 billion. Although more revenue streams pass through SACEM than PRS. 

In the UK, there is a separate collecting society for mechanical royalties, MCPS, and a decent portion of digital income flows directly to the music publishers rather than going via the collective licensing system. With French repertoire, SACEM handles all the digital licensing. 

As well as keeping its costs down, SACEM says it is also working to make payments to its members faster. Indeed, it says, it “accelerated collection and distribution activities” in 2023. 

For those general royalties, and income from streams on Spotify and Apple Music, payments are now distributed “three months after the quarter of exploitation”. YouTube music royalties will also be paid on that timeline from next month. Which, SACEM reckons, makes it “the most diligent society in Europe in terms of paying out main online royalties”. 

Commenting on the figures, CEO Cécile Rap-Veber hails the organisation’s work to “improve efficiency” which has “optimised both our collections and the amount distributed to our members”. She then adds, “Looking beyond the figures, we have worked to provide social and professional support for our members and have continued to defend our collective management model in the face of competition and technological upheaval”.

“SACEM certainly wants to be efficient for its members", she continues, “but it also wants to be useful for everyone, for its customers, its partners, for all those who make music or who simply love it”.

Seemingly happy with all that, the SACEM board has also announced that its members recently voted unanimously to extend Rap-Veber’s term as CEO. 

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