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Cultural Responsibility

Promoting Finnish creative music is an important part of our basic task and our reason for being. We want to carry responsibility for the diversity of music and for improving the working conditions of future generations of music authors.

Our goal is a society that is a good place for both making and using music professionally. We aim for the growth and internationalisation of the Finnish music industry, the development of professional competence and increased interest in and appreciation of the music industry. This will help Finnish music and its authors grow and thrive.

We support the vitality of music culture by promoting the creation of new music, diversity and equality in music, and by influencing the improvement of conditions within the industry. Additionally, we actively highlight music and its creators in our communications. As a result of our operations, new, innovative and diverse music is created and new music authors get excited about the industry.

Financial support to promote musical culture

Our financial support of creative musical art and its diversity is funded through cultural contributions, which Teosto withholds on the basis of decisions by its members and in accordance with the agreements it has made with its rightholders and foreign copyright societies. In 2023, a total of EUR 3.4 million in cultural contributions were withheld, which amounts to 6% of the distributable amount of royalties.

In 2023, a total of EUR 3.1 million was spent on music promotion activities for the following purposes, for example.

  • We supported the activities of Teosto’s member organisations (the Finnish Music Creators’ Association, the Society of Finnish Composers, the Finnish Music Publishers Association). The organisations promote the financial and professional interests of their members and contribute to ensuring good conditions for music in Finland.
  • Support was also given to Teosto’s member organisations’ foundations and funds, such as the Malmstén Foundation, the Sibelius Fund and the fund of the Finnish Music Publishers Association, which use grants to support diversity in music and creative music.
  • We provided funding to the Finnish Music Foundation, which awards grants for creative work, music performance, publishing, training and marketing.
  • We supported Music Finland, which supports the internationalisation of Finnish music authors and the growth of music exports, among other things.

We also provide direct financial support for making creative music. Teosto’s support distribution for Finnish music is intended for Finnish notated works, and it is granted by Teosto’s Repertoire Committee. With Teosto’s commission grants, we promote Finnish composition commissions and the creation of new score-based music.

In 2020–2022, cultural contributions were also used to fund COVID-19 financial support to compensate for the financial losses of our rightholders during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, it became evident that the Tax Administration does not regard this support paid during the pandemic as tax-free grants and charges back taxes on all COVID-19 financial support amounts exceeding EUR 2,000. In December 2023, Teosto’s General Meeting decided to allocate funds for compensating Teosto’s individual members for the back taxes associated with COVID-19 financial support.

Teosto carries out various communications-related projects to increase appreciation for Finnish music and make its authors more visible in the Finnish culture sector.

Awarded since 2003, the Teosto Prize is one of the biggest art prizes in the Nordic countries. Every year, we award it to one or more Finnish works of music. The purpose of the prize is to recognise bold, original and innovative works of music. With the prize, we also want to support the diversity of genres and increase appreciation for the work of music authors in society. In spring 2023, the EUR 40,000 Teosto Prize was divided among three winners.

Since 2018, we have presented the Music Author of the Year award at the Iskelmä Gaala as a recognition of special achievements in creating a wide range of schlager music. In 2023, the award was given to the experienced popular music lyricist Saara Törmä.

At the Emma Gaala for music producers, we are a partner of the Song of the Year category, highlighting the people behind Finnish hit songs. In 2023, the Song of the Year award went to the song “Ram Pam Pam”, which was performed by BESS and written by BESS, Tomi Saario and the experienced music author Jonas Olsson.

The “Vuoden musiikkioivallus” (the Music Innovation of the Year) prize, which highlights the use of music in AV productions, was awarded for the second time in 2023. The prize for the innovative use of music was awarded to the Finnish thriller film Hetki Lyö, which made an exemplary use of both music composed specifically for the film and recorded music.

We also award a EUR 2,000 prize for exemplary reporting of performance information. In 2023, the prize was awarded to Antti Ahopelto.

We are also a partner of the Finnish contemporary classical music festival Musica Nova and of the composition and lyrics competition at the Seinäjoen Tangomarkkinat tango festival.

Teosto seeks to play its part in responding to the networking and competence development needs of the music authors of the future and creating equal opportunities in the music industry.

Every year, we run a Top 20 – Future Hitmakers course, which aims to help young music authors make progress in their career and network with other music industry professionals as well as inspire them to create new music. The course is offered in cooperation with the Finnish Music Publishers Association, the Finnish Music Creators’ Association and Music Finland.

In autumn 2023, we also organised the Uudet Soundit (New Sounds) campaign with our customer Nelonen Media Live to find new, young performers for the summer festivals. Three young artists were selected to perform at the RMJ, Suomipop and Kuopiorock festivals.

At the annual Musiikki X Media music industry event, we produced lots of content that supports the professional development of music authors, including content about changes in listening habits, artificial intelligence and equality in the music industry.

The Teosto Talks events, which we hold twice a year, are seminars open to all where we discuss current the most current and interesting issues in the music industry. In 2023, the topics of the Teosto Talks events were the use of artificial intelligence in music and equality. During the year, we also held two webinars where we shared key aspects of a music author’s career with our members.

We also influence the industry’s development through numerous cooperation projects with other music industry organisations. In 2023, we brought together eleven music industry operators and conducted an extensive survey on gender equality in the music industry. In addition, we were involved in updating the theses for an equal music industry  and published the recruitment guidelines for the music industry, which were created as a follow-up project.

We also took part in the campaign for respecting the rights of authors, ©-DAY. Together with other copyright societies, we take part in the ISNI project, which improves the metadata for cultural content. The project is coordinated by the National Library of Finland and its goal is to get international ISNI identifiers for creators in various artistic fields.

Teosto seeks to engage in dialogue with decision-makers to ensure that the importance of Finnish musical culture and music creation to Finnish society is understood. Our advocacy work aims to increase awareness of and appreciation for musical culture as well as ensure good working conditions and long-term funding.

In 2023, we participated in the parliamentary election campaigns of the consortium for the creative primary production of music, with the aim of including our views in both the election debate and the government programme. Indeed, the government programme contains a number of goals promoted by us, such as drawing up a report on cultural policy, improving the position of freelancers in the music industry and investing in the growth and international recognition of the cultural sector.

On the music industry’s joint website, we distribute information to decision-makers about the music industry’s key indicators and importance to society.

Teosto’s cultural ambassadors are a network of music authors and decision-makers that aims to increase cooperation and grassroots-level communication between those who make music professionally and those who make decisions about their working conditions. The network’s members include about 70 Members of Parliament, music authors and publishers, who form pairs of ambassadors. In 2023, we held three joint events for cultural ambassadors as well as numerous smaller, one-on-one meetings.


Survey: Female and male music authors have a completely different idea of equality in the industry

According to Teosto’s survey, 70% of female lyricists and composers feel that the music industry is unequal. The biggest reasons given for this were the prevailing attitudes in the music industry and the lack of networks and role models for women. 

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