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Teosto distributed nearly EUR 15 million to music authors and publishers – two entirely new sources of royalties included

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Today, on 14 December 2023, the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society Teosto distributed EUR 14.7 million in royalties to composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers. For the first time, the December distribution included royalties on music used in audiobooks or TikTok.

Teosto distributes royalties to its members quarterly. The royalties distributed in December 2023 are mainly for music used in concerts, on radio, on television, as background music, in online and streaming services and in the Yle Areena and Nelonen Ruutu+/Ruutu services in April–June 2023.

EUR 8.6 million in royalties was distributed to Finnish rightsholders in December. The rest of the royalties are paid to foreign authors and publishers through international organisations.

In total, royalties were paid to 7 894 authors and publishers. The amount distributed to an individual author may range from a few euros to thousands of euros, depending on how many times their work has been performed and their share of the work’s copyright. In this distribution, the median amount distributed to a single music author was about EUR 99.

Two new sources of income for rightsholders in the December distribution – audiobooks and TikTok

Teosto exists so that music authors can focus on what they do best – creating new music that evokes emotions. For this reason, Teosto strives to find new ways to accumulate royalties for composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers – and help music users use music responsibly.

“In accordance with our mission, we defend the right of creative industry professionals to be compensated for their work and the use of their work so that they can continue to do their work. We carry out this mission also in times like these when public funding for culture is under constant threat of cuts,” says Risto Salminen, Teosto’s CEO.

In December 2023, rightsholders will receive royalties from two entirely new sources as Teosto distributes royalties for the music used in audiobooks published by WSOY in 2021–2022 and the music used in TikTok in 2021–2022.

Besides the new royalty sources, the royalties paid for events are also growing – in December 2023, 17% more royalties are paid in the live music, concerts and events category compared to the previous year.

Royalties collected from abroad have also increased by nearly a quarter compared to last year.

“In 2024, we will be looking for growth in foreign countries in particular. We have already made the process of collecting royalties from abroad more effective, and this work will continue. We believe that the efforts to export Finnish music will continue to be reflected in even larger income streams into Finland from abroad,” Salminen says.

Teosto has an agreement on royalty collection with more than 100 countries. The largest amounts of foreign royalties came from Sweden, the United Kingdom, France and the United States.

Fair compensation for authors from streaming platforms

Despite the inclusion of TikTok, the royalties distributed in the online music category in December mainly came from YouTube and Spotify. Agreement negotiations with streaming platforms play a key role when it comes to the amounts of royalties paid by the platforms.

“Negotiations with modern media companies require patience and perseverance, but, as a copyright society, we strive to make sure that the amounts of royalties paid by streaming platforms correspond to the platforms’ continuously increasing importance in music consumption,” Salminen says.

Teosto collects royalties for the public performance, broadcasting and reproduction of music on all platforms and distributes them to composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers.

The royalties distributed in December 2023 were collected for the following categories of rights:

Category of rightsDecember 2023 M€December 2022 M€
Radio and TV5.86.8
Public performance2.11.8
Online services4.25.2
Multiple (foreign countries, corrections)2.01.9

Distributions are made four times a year

You can find out more about Teosto’s distributions on the Distributions page of Teosto’s website.

The total amount distributed by Teosto varies depending on how comprehensively royalties can be collected in each music use category and how quickly the royalties can be allocated to the work to which they belong. Allocating royalties requires work notifications submitted by music authors to Teosto for their own works, as well as performance notifications or music use reports submitted by music performers and users.

Teosto distributes royalties to its member composers, lyricists, arrangers and publishers four times a year. After December 2023, the next distribution will be made on 21 March 2024.

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