U2, Hozier and Christy Moore stars share in €28.1m royalty bonanza

by Gordon Deegan

The likes of U2, Hozier and Christy Moore shared in a royalty pay-out bonanza of €28.1m made by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) last year.

In IMRO's annual report, chief executive of IMRO, Vincent Finn said IMRO achieved its highest ever distribution to its members and affiliates in 2017.

Mr Finn said that new ‘over the top online services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are providing new opportunities for IMRO members”.

Revenues at IMRO last year increased by 6% to €33.3m with public performance, online and overseas revenue contributing largely to this increase.

Income from online increased by 18% while revenues from ‘international’ went up by 10%.

Singer and chairwoman of IMRO, Eleanor McEvoy in her statement said: “I believe that music is a vital part of the Irish psyche, it is central to our identity and intensely important to society as a whole.

She said: “It is only fair that the people who create that music are justly compensated for their endeavours and are given a voice at all levels of government both here and abroad.

IMRO has 12,000 members and is a not for profit organisation. Last year, its surplus after paying out royalties amounted to €28,365.

The royalties received from IMRO are often the sole income received by non-performing song writers.

IMRO generates its royalties from a broad range of sources – from the music played to phone callers when put on hold – to a low percentage of revenues at the Three arena in Dublin.

Firms face tariff for playing music on multiple lines for callers when they are put on hold while doctors and dentists face annual tariffs from playing recorded music in their waiting rooms.

Numbers employed by IMRO last year increased from 51 to 60 with staff costs increasing from €3.29m to €3.68m.

Remuneration for IMRO’s directors last year decreased from €260,734 to €256,606.

The board is made up of 15 directors that includes a number of artists such as Keith Donald, Eleanor McEvoy and Charlie McGettigan.

A note attached to the accounts show that royalties paid by the organisation to directors of IMRO and to parties related to them amounted to €263,689.

The total remuneration paid to key management personnel last year totalled €891,537.

The surplus takes account of non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €586,968.

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