Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) Reports Revenue Surge in 2022
The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), responsible for licensing copyrighted music and distributing royalties to artists, experienced a significant revenue increase of over €42.5m in 2022. This surge in revenue can be attributed to the revival of the public performance side of the industry following the pandemic.
Last year, IMRO paid out a total of €35.6m in royalties to artists, marking a substantial increase of nearly €13.2m or 59% compared to 2021. The organisation generates revenue by charging broadcasters, venues, and other businesses a blanket licence fee for the playing of copyrighted music. These funds are then distributed to numerous artists, including renowned names such as U2, Dermott Kennedy, Hozier, and Christy Moore.
By the end of December 2022, IMRO boasted a membership of 17,815, with 2,000 new members joining during the course of the year. Similar organisations exist worldwide, administering licences on behalf of publishers and artists.
According to recently filed company accounts, IMRO witnessed a staggering 56% increase in revenue in 2022 compared to the previous year. This growth was evident across all categories, with the public performance side of the sector experiencing significant gains. Broadcast revenues saw a 4% increase, while live concerts rebounded even stronger than pre-pandemic levels, rising by 12% compared to 2019. In 2019, the total revenue generated amounted to €38.4m.
“The resumption of business involved re-engaging with a large number of customers whose operations had been halted by the pandemic. We worked closely with them to address closure credits, existing balances, and ultimately, payment,” stated IMRO. “Restarting these activities contributed to licence revenue bouncing back to €42.5m, an increase of €15.27m from 2021.”
Operating costs within the organisation increased in line with the resumption of normal activity, totaling €6.8m in 2022, which reflects a 17% increase compared to 2021. After accounting for taxes, royalties, and costs, IMRO generated a final surplus of €45,131 for the year.
The IMRO’s success in 2022 is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the music industry in the face of challenging circumstances. As the sector continues to recover and rebuild, artists and stakeholders can take solace in the fact that the demand for copyrighted music remains strong, ensuring a bright future for the industry.