Better services for the love of music
In 2015, we focused on improving our operations and services. Useful, user-friendly and easy services are among the cornerstones of our strategy.
One significant change in our operations was the adoption of the international ICE database of musical works together with our Polaris partner organisations, Koda in Denmark and Tono in Norway. ICE gives us access to an even broader repertoire while also allowing us to make information on Finnish musical works available to other ICE customers. ICE, or International Copyright Enterprise, is a limited liability company whose owners include Stim from Sweden, PRS for Music from the UK and Gema from Germany.
The adoption of the work database was a significant investment that affected the day-to-day work of many people at Teosto. The project also involved harmonising our systems for processing distribution and performance reports with those of our Polaris partners. In spite of the size of the project, it was a resounding success. For that, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to our partners and all Teosto employees!
We continued to work with Gramex to build our joint venture, GT Music Licences Ltd (GTM). Going forward, GTM will be responsible for the sales, marketing, invoicing and customer service of background music and event licences for both Teosto and Gramex. The joint venture makes it easier for our customers to use music by making it possible to obtain licences from two organisations via a single contact point. We expect that GTM will start serving its first customers around the turn of next year.
The changes to our operations are also related to Finnish legislation on the collective management of copyright, which is currently being drafted and is based on the EU Directive on Collective Rights Management. Preparations for the changes required by the new legislation began in a working group set up by Teosto’s Board of Directors. The members of the working group include the executive managers of our member organisations. The new legislation particularly impacts membership agreements between Teosto and authors and publishers, but it also affects Teosto’s service processes and decision-making, and it will make it necessary to implement certain rule changes.
Focus on digital services
In service development, our focus was particularly on online and mobile services. We broke new ground in October 2015 by launching Keikkamobiili, our first mobile application. It gives artists and performers the opportunity to notify us of the songs they have played while on the road, anywhere and anytime. The application has received positive feedback and we will continue to develop it further.
Also in the area of service development, in 2015 we sought new operating models by offering music-related data for use by third parties. As part of this effort, we organised Teosto Hackday to give developers access to our live data, which is the most extensive database of live music performed in Finland. We will continue our development work related to the opening up of data and networking with software developers in 2016.
In addition to digital services, we are also actively developing our other services aimed at customers. We monitor the development of the customer experience regularly and engage our customers in our development work.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers who participated in our surveys and workshops for their active involvement. Your feedback is important to us and it helps guide the development of our operations going forward.
Year 2015 in a nutshell
In 2015, the royalties collected by Teosto for using music in Finland amounted to EUR 53 million. Total royalties amounted to EUR 64 million, including performing right royalties and mechanical reproduction royalties collected through other organisations as well as remunerations for public lending and compensation for private copying.
Other organisations collecting royalties that are subsequently distributed to rightholders by Teosto include NCB, which collects mechanical reproduction royalties, Kopiosto, and copyright societies outside Finland.
The total amount of royalties was increased by factors including private copying compensation of EUR 2.4 million, which the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture paid for the first time from the State budget. Royalties were also collected for the first time for network personal video recorder services. The total amount of royalties we distributed to rightholders in 2015 was EUR 48 million.