According to documents from the Russian Authors’ Society (RAO), royalty payments by RAO to foreign music creators in 2022 reached their lowest level in the past five years. Last year, foreign royalties amounted to 20.7 million rubles, which is over $207,000. This is a significant decrease compared to the previous year’s royalties, which totaled $1.32 million.
Even during the challenging year of 2020, when Russian establishments such as restaurants, cafes, and cinemas were closed due to Covid-related restrictions, foreign royalties still amounted to $1.25 million. However, in 2022, royalties plummeted to their lowest level since 2017, representing a sixfold decrease compared to the previous year.
RAO is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that was established by Russian artists and copyright holders to protect their rights collectively. The organization reports that the decline in royalty payments to foreign artists can be attributed to the increasing demand for Russian music content within the country. The statistics indicate that the use of music as soundtracks for commercial spaces like restaurants, shops, and hotels has witnessed a significant shift, with playlists featuring music by Russian artists experiencing a surge of nearly 30%.
Data from the Russian Ministry of Culture reveals that in 2022, TV channels, radio stations, cinemas, and cafes paid approximately $32 million in royalties to both Russian and foreign creators. This is a slight decrease from the previous year when royalties amounted to around $33 million.
The reason behind the drop in royalties paid to foreign creators is multifaceted. One major factor is the growing popularity of Russian music content in the country. The RAO explains that this increasing demand can be observed in the use of music in various commercial spaces where there has been a notable shift towards playlists featuring Russian artists. This trend has influenced the distribution of royalties, leading to a decline in payments to foreign creators.
It is essential to highlight the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the entertainment industry. The closures and restrictions faced by Russian establishments in 2020 had affected their ability to pay music rights holders. However, the royalty payments to foreign music creators during that crisis year still amounted to a substantial $1.25 million.
Despite the overall decrease in royalty payments, it is crucial to note that the RAO continues to protect the rights of Russian artists and copyright holders, ensuring a fair distribution of royalties between Russian and foreign creators. The organization’s purpose remains to provide collective support for artists, maintaining a balance between protecting their rights and meeting the evolving demands of the Russian music scene.
In conclusion, the Russian Authors’ Society witnessed a significant decline in royalty payments to foreign music creators in 2022. This decline can be attributed to the rising demand for Russian music content within the country, which has led to an increase in the use of music by Russian artists in commercial spaces. However, the RAO remains committed to protecting the rights of both Russian and foreign creators, ensuring fair distribution of royalties in the evolving music landscape.