Financial responsibility at Teosto means ensuring the efficiency and competitiveness of our operations as well as protecting the financial interests of our rightsholder members. This allows us to be a reliable partner, employer and corporate citizen. Thanks to its financial stability, Teosto is able to meet the needs of its stakeholders, take care of its environment and obligations and strengthen the role of music and creative musical art in society.
Teosto protects its rightsholder members’ interests by negotiating with parties that use music, from Finnish media companies to international online platforms. We make agreements on the use of music and the level of royalties, collect royalties and distribute them to our members.
COVID-19 restrictions, which started to be introduced in 2020, continued in 2021. This also affected the royalties we collect: we collected a total of EUR 70.1 million in royalties.
As the pandemic subsided slightly in autumn 2021, we were able to increase the amount of royalties collected by EUR 6.9 million from the previous year’s amount of EUR 65.6 million. The growth came especially from the strong development of the online category and the partial recovery of the events category amid the restrictions. Revenue from background music and commercial radio also grew.
Distributions to music authors and publishers
We make distributions to our rightsholder members according to the Distribution Rules valid at the time of distribution. The Distribution Rules are approved by Teosto’s General Meeting.
In 2021, we paid composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers EUR 53.4 million (EUR 51.5 million in 2020) in royalties for the use of their music. Of the total amount, EUR 23.5 million (2020: EUR 26.6 million) was paid to Finnish music authors and publishers and EUR 29.9 million (2020: EUR 24.9 million) to foreign music authors and publishers.
We always seek to operate as cost-efficiently as possible, while ensuring the quality of our services and optimising the distributions made to our members. Our goal is to increase the royalties paid to rightsholders for the use of their music. We are continuously exploring opportunities to operate more efficiently.
A key financial indicator of our operations’ efficiency is the expense percentage. We aim to provide high-quality, reliable copyright services with a reasonable expense percentage. Thanks to the growth in revenue and cost-cutting, Teosto’s expense percentage decreased. Our average expense percentage in 2021 was 13.7%, down from 15.6% in the previous year.
A competitive expense percentage is important in the competition for the management of rightsholders’ rights. The total costs of a collective management organisation’s management services for rightsholders consist of the administrative expense percentage and the withholding of cultural contributions. Based on a decision by its members, Teosto’s withholding percentage for cultural contributions is 6% of the net royalties, which is a moderate rate when compared internationally.
The Teosto Fund was established for the purpose of promoting Finnish music and improving the conditions for it. The purpose of the Fund is to maintain and secure the continuity of the funding of these promotion activities in a situation where previous sources of funding are reduced or eliminated.
The Fund’s primary funding source is cultural contributions, which Teosto withholds on the basis of decisions by its members and in accordance with the agreements it has made with its rightsholders and foreign collective management organisations. In 2021, the share of cultural contributions withheld from collected royalties was 6.0% (2020: 6.0%) after the deduction of costs, i.e. about EUR 2.9 million.
Some of the cultural contributions are used directly to promote music (see the section “Cultural responsibility”). The Fund has also grown through increases in the value of assets as well as private copying compensation paid from the state budget.
Teosto carries out investing activities in two separate investment portfolios:
- The activities and investing principles of Teosto ry’s portfolio comply with the Act on the Collective Management of Copyright and are confirmed by the General Meeting. The portfolio consists of funds that are waiting for distribution to rightsholders.
- The Teosto Fund’s portfolio is a self-financed fund, the capital of which is intended for the promotion of Finnish creative music. The use and investing principles of the portfolio have been confirmed by the General Meeting.
Our investment activities are based on an investment policy built around the central principles of a long-term investment horizon and diversification. Thanks to these principles, our portfolios are resilient to short-term changes in value. We require asset managers who take part in our investing activities to commit to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). We examine our asset managers’ performance from this perspective annually and expect active reporting on ESG matters.
2021 was a very good year for our investing activities. In addition to shares, our alternative investments also yielded good returns. At the end of 2021, the market value of the Teosto Fund’s investments was about EUR 41.7 million and the rate of return was about 21.1% p.a. (2020: EUR 36.4 million and 7.7% p.a.). At the end of 2021, the capital in Teosto ry’s fund, calculated on the basis of market value, was about EUR 45.1 million and the rate of return was about 15.9% p.a. (2020: EUR 36.5 million and 5.9% p.a.)
The state pays private copying compensation from its budget to music authors for the copies made of their works for private use. In 2015–2021, the amount of private copying compensation was EUR 11 million a year. The compensation was set up to compensate for the losses caused by making copies of works for private use.
For 2021, Teosto received a total of EUR 2.3 million of private copying compensation (2020: EUR 2.3 million). Of this amount, we paid about EUR 1.2 million to Teosto’s rightsholders as distributions and allocated about EUR 1.1 million to music authors’ common goals through the Teosto Fund.
The state pays lending compensation through Teosto for the library loans of sheet music, scores and recordings. The lending compensation is based on the EU Rental and Lending Directive and the Copyright Act. The compensation is paid from the state budget and the Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for paying it. In 2021, EUR 0.54 million in lending compensation (2020: EUR 0.58 million) was paid to Teosto, of which we distributed EUR 0.43 million to composers, lyricists and arrangers.
Teosto’s budget and financial statements are approved annually by the General Meeting. In addition, we also prepare a transparency report on our operations in accordance with the Act on the Collective Management of Copyright. In the report, we examine our financial indicators from a wider perspective than in our financial statements.
We produce immediate financial impacts mainly for our rightsholder members. Teosto’s most important financial added value is its distributions to rightsholders. In 2021, we withheld a total of EUR 4.2 million from distributions as taxes and contributions.
We increase efficiency by managing the financial rights of composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers globally.
We employ about 65 people. The wages and salaries paid by Teosto in 2021 amounted to a total of about EUR 4 million, of which about EUR 1.2 million was withheld as taxes and contributions. Our goal is to be a desirable workplace where employees like to work and feel that their work is meaningful.
In 2021, we spent a total of about EUR 3.5 million on services and supplies. This includes outsourcing to various joint ventures and service providers, IT production and development costs and other external procurement.