Business Irish

Tuesday 24 January 2017

U2, Hozier cash in on €25m royalties bonanza

Gordon Deegan

Published 08/11/2016 | 02:30

Royalties paid to Irish musicians such as U2 increased by 8.5pc last year, thanks to an increase in overseas and gig revenues
Royalties paid to Irish musicians such as U2 increased by 8.5pc last year, thanks to an increase in overseas and gig revenues

U2, Hozier and Christy Moore were among the thousands of Irish artists who shared a €25m bonanza last year from the public performance and broadcast of their songs.

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The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) - which collects royalties on behalf of the artists concerned - confirmed that licence revenues last year increased from €28m to €30.7m. IMRO's directors' report states that while all revenue categories showed an increase on 2014, public performance - specifically large concert revenue, online and overseas revenue - contributed largely to this rise. The amount in royalties paid out to artists last year increased by 8.5pc, from €23.2m to €25.26m. The directors state that the royalty payout increase was as a result of increased activity.

IMRO has 11,000 members and is a not-for-profit organisation. Last year, its surplus after paying out royalties amounted to €137,895 and this followed a surplus of €126,051 in 2014.

Royalties received from IMRO are often the sole income received by non-performing songwriters.

It generates its royalties from a broad range of sources, from a charge on the music played to phone callers when put on hold to a low percentage of revenues at music venues like the 3Arena in Dublin.

Numbers employed by IMRO last year fell from 52 to 51 with staff costs remaining static at €3.22m.

Irish Independent

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