Royalty bonanza of over €32m for artists from music rights body

Christy Moore, U2 and Hozier among those who benefited from record total Imro payout

Christy Moore at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Last year’s Imro €32.29 million royalty payout to artists is a 15 per cent increase on the €28.13 million paid out in 2017. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Christy Moore at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Last year’s Imro €32.29 million royalty payout to artists is a 15 per cent increase on the €28.13 million paid out in 2017. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

The likes of Christy Moore, U2 and Hozier along with a host of other artists last year shared a royalty bonanza payout of €32.29 million from the Irish Music Rights Organisation (Imro).

In the organisation’s annual report, chief executive Vincent Finn said the royalties distributed was a record total for the organisation.

The €32.29 million royalty payout is a 15 per cent increase on the €28.13 million paid out in 2017.

Mr Finn said the distribution reflected the strength of the financial performance of Imro for last year.

During 2018, the organisation’s revenues increased by 14 per cent from €33.3 million to €37.3 million.

Mr Finn said highlights for the year included robust online revenues; record high for international royalties; buoyant live performance and festivals revenues, and very healthy public performance revenues.

Surplus

Imro has 12,000 members and is a not-for-profit organisation. Last year, its surplus after paying out royalties amounted to €81,744.

The royalties received from the organisation are often the sole income received by non-performing song writers.

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

A breakdown of Imro’s revenues show its Irish revenues last year increased by 13 per cent from €26.5 million to €30 million while UK revenues stood at €2.3 million with revenues from other EU countries totalling €3.22 million.

Staff costs

Revenues from the US totalled €931,909 while “rest of world” revenues amounted to €1.29 million.

Numbers employed last year increased from 57 to 59 with staff costs increasing from €3.68 million to €3.78 million. Remuneration for directors increased from €256,606 to €321,021.

A note attached to the accounts show that royalties paid by the organisation to Imro directors and to parties related to them amounted to €279,401.

The total remuneration paid to key management personnel last year totalled €910,647.

The surplus takes account of combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €624,228.