My thanks to Guy Meredith at Future for the opportunity to promote the MU’s work in royalty collection and distribution in the June edition of Music Week.
The MU’s Recording & Broadcasting department distributed £1.37m to musicians, – both members and non-members – by the end of 2022. This is the highest payment of royalties made in one single year by the MU and is particularly good news following the lack of work suffered by musicians due to Covid-19, from 2020 onwards.
Jessica Craig, MU Royalties Official, explained the reason for such a surge in payments:
“Most of the increases in revenue come from use of commercial recordings used in advertising and film sync, which helps to balance some of the reduction in studio recording over the past couple of years.”
Streamlined Processes Royalties were paid to 12,495 individuals in 2022 and the average payment was £110. There was a £500,ooo increase in raised invoices in 2022 compared with 2021 and the total invoices raised was £1.6m.
Geoff Ellerby, MU National Organiser for Recording & Broadcasting, praised the work of his department:
“The team pulled off a tremendous piece of work last year, it was a wholly collaborative effort. We hope to equal and increase this for 2023 and have already streamlined some of our processes including further development of software.
“However, there is a downside in that a substantial number of musicians have not passed on their full details for payment, so we still have more royalties that we need to distribute to musicians.”
Geoff advises members who have performed on a commercial track as a non-featured performer (a session player, not contracted artist), who are aware the track has been used in sync and have not had any payment from the Musicians’ Union, to contact the MU.
“They can email us at: unpaid_musicians@theMU.org. We can then do the appropriate checks to release payment.”