2020 – a devastating year for music
“Our main focus in 2020 was to soften the pandemic’s financial blow to our members. We made fast royalty payments a top priority, and also implemented more targeted initiatives. When most of the venues where people see live music were closed down, we initiated the most extensive advance payment scheme in Stim’s history. In addition, we supplied a large number of extra grants to support our members in their time of crisis,” says Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen, Stim’s CEO.
Stim’s earnings declined dramatically in 2020, from SEK 2,4 bn. to 1,9 bn. Most of the decline was caused by the pandemic, but the large, retroactive foreign revenue of 2019 was a contributing factor too. The payments increased from SEK 1,8 bn. to 2 bn., a result of Stim’s efforts to continuously improve the efficiency of the payment process.
In 2020, Stim put a lot of energy into simplifying procedures for its members and customers. One such tool is a new mobile phone app that helps music creators keep track of their music revenues at a glance. Another new feature is the web shop, where customers can sign up for licenses.
When it became clear how hard the pandemic would hit Stim’s members, the organisation immediately set aside SEK 3 m. for 300 new grants. A total of SEK 7,1 m. were awarded to 439 members. The number of songwriters and composers that applied for Stim’s grants grew by 49 per cent in 2020 – further proof of the music industry’s deep crisis.
On a lighter note, 3,199 new music makers and publishers chose to join Stim in 2020.
“Thankfully, now that the vaccination programmes are up and running in Sweden and the world around us, music venues and restaurants will start to open up again. But the delay in earnings means that it will take a while before our copyright holders can benefit from this. Unfortunately, the music industry is going to feel the effects of the 2020 crisis for a long time,” says Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen, Stim’s CEO.