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March distribution to composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers by Teosto totals EUR 9.8 million


Teosto paid the March distribution to members today on 18 March 2021. The distribution primarily consisted of copyright royalties collected in late summer of last year from radio, television and web services, among others. COVID-19 has decreased royalties from concerts and commercial radio and television in particular.

Teosto collects copyright royalties for the public performance, broadcasting and reproduction of music and distributes them to the composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers. Domestic rightsholders received a total of EUR 4.0 million. A slightly larger share of the royalties will be paid to foreign authors and publishers through international organisations.

Most of the distributed royalties have been collected from music that was performed in Finland in concerts, on the radio, on television, as background music, in online and streaming services and by Yle Areena in July, August and September 2020. Some of the royalties included are royalties collected from abroad and video-on-demand uses. The distribution also included additional royalties from Finnish broadcasting company MTV’s television channels from 2017–2019 as well as royalties that Teosto has not been able to pay earlier due to, for example, missing work notifications.

COVID-19 wreaks havoc in the music industry

The COVID-19 pandemic had the biggest impact on live performances, whose share of the distribution was only around one per cent. The distribution paid for commercial television decreased by 37% and the distribution paid for commercial radio decreased by 28% in comparison to March of last year.

“The prolonged COVID-19 situation has been extremely hard for music composers, lyricists, arrangers and publishers,” says Risto Salminen, CEO of Teosto. “Live music and events play a key role in the accumulation of copyright royalties. The decline in turnover directly affects the wallets of music authors and publishers.”

Teosto has strived to help alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on its rightsholders. Last autumn, coronavirus financial support was paid from the Teosto Fund, and a second round is set to be distributed in early summer.

“We have also strived to use our influence as Teosto as well as part of the creative field to secure the operating conditions of the music industry through sufficient financial support and a bold recovery plan. However, we will need more information on an exit plan for the music industry as well as concrete development of funding structures in order to ensure the future of the field and be able to once more enjoy high-quality events offering musical content once the pandemic is over.”

Additional royalties from the Finnish broadcasting company MTV make up for losses caused by COVID-19

Despite the COVID-19 situation, Teosto’s distribution for March 2021 is larger than the distribution in March 2020.

The additional royalties of EUR 1.58 million paid by the Finnish broadcasting company MTV to Teosto make up for losses caused by COVID-19 the most. The Finnish broadcasting company MTV paid the additional royalties to Teosto after the Market Court ruled a prolonged pricing disagreement between MTV and Teosto in Teosto’s favour. The disagreement related to the royalties of freely receivable television channels (MTV, Sub and AVA) from 2017–2019. The additional royalties will be paid to the authors and publishers whose work has been performed on MTV, Sub or Ava in 2017–2019 and who have received performing right royalties for their work between June 2018 and June 2020. 

In addition, the royalties paid by Yle’s television channels and Areena for music use are larger than last year. Yle TV2 has shown more recordings of gigs, concerts and other live performances (so-called visual music) than before. For TV1, more performances from previous years than usual have made it to the distribution. From foreign markets, the most distribution was paid for music played in Sweden, Germany and the United States.

The royalties to be paid in March 2021 have been collected for the following categories of rights:

Category of rightsMarch 2021 M€March 2020 M€
Radio and TV6.35.3
Public performance and background music1.21.3
Several (foreign countries, corrections)1.01.2

Teosto pays distributions four times per year 

More information on Teosto’s distributions is available on our website

The total amount distributed by Teosto varies, depending on how comprehensively royalties are collected in each music use area and how quickly these can be directed towards the work to which they belong. In order to direct the royalties, Teosto requires the work notifications by music authors for their work alongside the performance notifications or music use reports by music performers and users.  

The amount paid to an individual creator depends on how many times the work has been performed and the creator’s share of the royalty to be paid for the work. The amount varies from a couple of euros to thousands of euros. Teosto is constantly working on speeding up the royalty collection process so that they can be distributed as soon as possible after the music has been performed.  

Teosto distributes royalties to its member composers, lyricists and publishers four times a year. The next distribution will be paid in June 2021. 

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