Performance rights account for 12.6% of global revenues. The performance rights sector illustrates how music plays a vital part in driving a much broader range of economic activity.

Amy Shark

IFPI works with music licensing companies across the world to help ensure that those who produce and perform music used for public performance and broadcast are fairly rewarded for their work.

In most countries, broadcasters are required to pay a royalty to the artists, producers and songwriters that created the music they play. In countries where full broadcast and public performance rights are not granted – such as the US and Japan – IFPI and its partners continue to campaign.

Apart from by broadcasters recorded music is also used by a wide range of businesses — from bars to retailers, gyms to nightclubs — to attract customers, drive spending and motivate employees. These businesses are also required in most countries to pay a fee for the music they use.

Music licensing companies, authorised by record labels, collect revenue from these companies and distribute it to the relevant artists and producers.

Revenue from the use of sound recordings in broadcast and public performance saw a decline of 3.6% in 2019 but this was largely attributable to one-off settlements in 2018, which did not recur in 2019. Compared to 2017, 2019’s performance rights revenues showed a comparable growth rate of 8.7%.

Despite strong growth in recent years, there is still plenty of untapped potential in the performance rights market

A global glance at performance rights

Despite strong growth in recent years, there is still plenty of untapped potential in the performance rights market.

The three largest economies in the world — the US, China and Japan — still lack full broadcasting and/or public performance rights. Furthermore, rates paid by businesses playing music are still too low in many countries, not compensating artists and producers fairly for their music. Performance rights will continue to provide a vital and growing revenue stream for artists and producers.

MLC Code of Conduct and Standard Distribution Principles

IFPI and the global Music Licensing Companies (MLCs) have developed a Code of Conduct and set of Standard Distribution Principles that codify good practices and set common standards for the establishment and governance of MLCs, as well as the collection and distribution of revenues from the broadcast and public performance of recordings. 

You can download them here: