A Guide to Key Pay Sources in Ireland: IMRO, PPI, MCPSI

For the sixth consecutive year, the global recorded music market has seen exponential growth. Revenue for 2020 was $21.6 billion, up by 7.4 percent compared to 2019, per IFP’s 2020 Global Music Report. In Europe, music revenue grew by 3.5 percent, backed by streaming growth of 20.7 percent.

In fact, the music industry in Ireland is projected to reach $127 million in music streaming revenue in 2021, at a revenue growth rate of 10.5 percent according to Statista. The report also adds that user growth will be 22.1 percent, and is expected to reach 28.1 percent by 2025. This means that there is money to be collected and distributed to songwriters and rightsholders in Ireland.

It’s important for artists whose music is streamed or otherwise earning royalties in Ireland to understand the collection societies - IMRO, PPL, and MCPSI - responsible for collections there.

IMRO, Irish Music Rights Organization

Launched/Founded: 1988

Membership size: over 15,000

Official siteimro.ie

Socials: @IMROireland

About: IMRO is the foremost music rights organization in Ireland. The organization issues licenses to organizations and businesses for the legal use of songs. It then collects and distributes royalties on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers in Ireland, and other international music creators affiliated with the organization. IMRO also protects and enforces the rights of copyright owners through education and advocacy by lobbying appropriate bodies to enact policies that benefit music creators.

PPI, Phonographic Performance Ireland Limited

Launched/Founded: 1968

Membership size: Universal, Sony, Warner, 1,000 indie members, and thousands of associate members through bilateral agreements

Official site: ppimusic.ie

Socials: @PPIMusicIreland

About: PPI is Ireland’s equivalent of Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), the British music licensing company and performance rights collecting agency. It manages public performance, broadcasting rights, and reproduction of recordings in Ireland on behalf of Irish and international artists. PPI collects royalties for the performance of music, and or videos in public from businesses including nightclubs, hotels, bars, and gyms. It also represents multinational music companies. 

MCPSI, Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (Ireland)

Launched/Founded: 1991

Membership size: N/A

Official site: MCPSI

Socials: N/A

About: MCPSI collects royalties on behalf of artists in Ireland, and affiliated international artists when their songs are reproduced onto CDs, DVDs, vinyl, streaming services, and other formats. They also issue the license for songs of their members to be used in audiovisual productions like TV shows, movies, video games, and advertising campaigns. The royalties are then paid out to the rights holders.   

Don’t Leave Your Royalties to Chance

While signing with a local collection society is a crucial step in securing your rights as a songwriter, you can’t stop there - as they only collect a portion of the royalties you earn when your songs are used.

PROs track and collect the performance royalties earned when your songs are publicly performed, broadcast, or streamed. However, they do not license and collect the mechanical royalties generated when your song is reproduced physically or digitally. 

If your local society is a CMO, they will collect both performance and mechanical royalties earned in your country, but their ability and bandwidth for global collection is limited. That means that revenue from royalty streams such as international streaming, radio, and live performance can be lost if you rely on them to handle it.

Follow the steps below to ensure you’re collecting all the music your music generates everywhere it is played worldwide:

  1. Use a digital distributor such as CD Baby or Distrokid. They’ll make your music available on digital streaming and download platforms all over the world, and will collect and pay your recording royalties.
  2. Affiliate with your local Performing Rights Organization (PRO) or Collective Management Organization (CMO). They will collect royalties in your local territory, and your affiliation ensures you are identified as a writer within the publishing industry, which makes it possible for global pay sources to allocate your royalties.
  3. Register your songs with a publishing administrator, such as Songtrust, who in turn registers your songs directly with global performance and mechanical societies all over the world.
  4. Register your songs with an organization that collects neighbouring rights or digital performance royalties generated by your recordings. If you’re in the U.S., SoundExchange is the primary organization that handles these royalties. In Ireland, RAAP, Recorded Artists Actors Performers, would handle these royalties.

If you have additional questions about pay sources in Ireland or music publishing in general, please reach out to our team.

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